Albert J. Rizzi, Founder and CEO, My Blind Spot
On January 6th, 2006, Albert J. Rizzi came out of a morphine-induced coma and opened his eyes to a world gone dark. Doctors had thought he had a sinus infection, but after 5 spinal taps, it was determined he was suffering from a lethal form of fungal meningitis. Fortunately, after 2 months in the hospital, Albert beat the odds and started to live his life as a man who had been robbed of his sight, but not his vision.
“I spent a few days feeling sorry for myself. But then my father reminded me: ‘You weren’t raised to say you can’t do something. You were raised to except and embrace all of life’s challenges.”
With energy and determination, Albert threw himself into learning how to navigate the world as a person who just happened to be blind. He brought a sense of adventure to all his endeavors, from grocery shopping to traveling the New York City subways to driving a race car in a blindfold derby.
A tireless and vocal advocate, Albert debunks stereotypes about those who live with disabilities and speaks out for job opportunities, accessible technologies, and financial independence for the disability community, particularly for people who are blind or print disabled. In 2009, he founded a nonprofit, My Blind Spot, www.myblindspot.org dedicated to Inspiring Accessibility for All!
“Children would say, ‘Why is he carrying a stick?’ or ‘Mommy, that man is blind.’ This would usually be followed by an adult voice saying something like, ‘Hush—it’s not polite to talk about people that way”, which always lead to a teachable moment for Albert.
Albert has addressed thousands of people across the U.S. and internationally. His unique blend of passion, optimism, humor, and outspokenness make him a sought-after speaker who engages and inspires audiences of all ages.
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