Sense without sight: a crash course on #BlindNavigation


Playlists: '35c3' videos starting here / audio / related events

Learn to see the world without your eyes. Wonder what it's like to navigate while blind? Want to learn to use your everyday senses in ways you don't know you don't know? In this talk, I hack you with permanently enhanced sensory perceptions. This is very participatory, not just "sit and listen", and workshops are even more hands-on (blindfolded w/ cane in hand). 


A few things I'll cover require a cane, but the vast majority are sensory input that you already have, and you simply don’t realize or pay attention to.

This will also (briefly) cover how and how not to interact with a blind person on the street, cognitive shifts from perceiving the world as a blind person, real vs myth difficulties, etc.

This talk is specifically focused on navigation and sensory experience. It won't cover Braille, computers, general life skills, medical/legal issues, or the like.

After you attend, I'd greatly appreciate your feedback: If you post about it, I'd appreciate if you use gender neutral pronouns for me, and tag me (saizai) or send me a link.


The talk will try to cover as much as can be done without direct experience. However, there's a huge qualitative difference between simply hearing me talk about it and experiencing it for yourself. Therefore, I am also running hands-on, 1-hour workshops (approx. 2 per day, TBD).

Workshop participants will be blindfolded, given a guide cane, and led through a crash course in how to use and perceive the cues that are discussed in the talk, and an additional Q&A / debriefing session afterwards. This starts from simply walking along a straight path, and quickly escalates to hearing corridors, feeling walls at a (short) distance, etc.

About me

I do lots of things, e.g. conlanging (26C3), cognitive psychology (27C3), meditation (26C3 & 27C3), civil rights litigation, government transparency, meta-politics, meta-law research, etc. See my wesite.

I'm part-time fully blind. See for tips on how to interact with me & for background info. In particular, please understand that blindness is not "what I do", and I'm going to hit my capacity for talking about it with the talk, Q&A, and workshops. I always welcome feedback, collaborations, fellow-travelers, and press. Other than that, if you see me around Congress, let's please talk about something other than my blindness.

Contact info:

Gender neutral pronouns please.

Slides available as download:

Other links:


These files contain multiple languages.

This Talk was translated into multiple languages. The files available for download contain all languages as separate audio-tracks. Most desktop video players allow you to choose between them.

Please look for "audio tracks" in your desktop video player.