Dangerous Vision Podcast

In Season two of Dangerous Vision, Randy Cohen talks about work. What people do for work, how we are defined by work, and why it is tough for some in the blind community to gain competitive employment. As a professor, Randy gets students enrolled at Harvard Business School ready to enter and be become leaders in the workforce. But when you are blind it isn’t easy. Randy talks to other blind people about their jobs and to those with sight who either stand up or stand out. Randy, who has Retinitis Pigmentosa, loves to learn and talk and he applies all of his professorial skills that reveal remarkable insights about what it’s like to be blind.

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Episode 2:

Dangerous Vision: Cyrus Habib from Politics to the Priesthood

What does Randy Cohen and Cyrus Habib have in common? Vision loss /blindness is top of mind. Both went to Ivy League schools–Randy went to Harvard and Cyrus to Columbia then Yale Law School.  But it is something called parliamentary debate that they bond over.   Cyrus opens up about his decision to leave politics, the pull of becoming a Jesuit Priest, and the importance of being a mentor.  Cyrus calls out his friendship with Erik Weihenmayer as being a pivotal relationship in his adult life.  Cyrus encourages us all to be a mentor to someone.

New York Times: A Politician Takes a Sledgehammer to His Own Ego

Reading List

No Barriers By Erik Weihenmayer

Far From The Tree  By Andrew Soloman

Mountains Beyond Mountains By Tracy Kidder

House By Tracy Kidder

Soul of the New Machine  By Tracy Kidder



Episode 1:

Wait Wait Please Guide Me–Peter Sagal on running guiding and repeating

To many who listen to him on  NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me he is curious and witty.  To runners, Peter Sagal’s column in Runner’s World offers insight into the sport and a look into how the activity shaped  Peter’s adult life.  Yet running can be dangerous to those who are visually impaired or inaccessible to those living with blindness unless a guide is available. In 2013 and 2014 Peter was a guide with Team With A Vision–the Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired’s marathon team.  In the first episode of Season 2 host, Randy Cohen chats with Peter about how he got into guiding and why he credits it for changing the way he views running.

Listen HERE

The Boston Marathon Virtual Experience happened between September 7-14, in this one-hour LIVESTREAM Event hosted by Peter Sagal learn more about the team past and present. 

Listen to Peter

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

Run with Peter

Runner’s World Peter Sagal Column

Read Peter

Peter Sagal the author

Learn About Guiding


Episode 24: Dangerous Vision Presents Byron Walker: Gaming for the Blind Gamer

This edition of Dangerous Vision dives deep into the science of music.  Randy’s guest is Byron Walker from Standford’s CCRMA Listening Room. What changes in a musician’s brain after hours and years of daily practice? How do skills that make a great violinist transfer to other abilities? Can directed neuroplasticity be used to target skill learning?  Byron’s knowledge of gaming as a science as directed his passion for creating videogames that are strictly audio.  Byron calls them audio games though, given there’s technically no visual component!

Team See Possibilities is accepting applications for the second round of TSP Scholars.

• Up to a $5,000 scholarship

• Mentorship through personal interaction with world-class professionals who are vision-impaired

• Peer-to-peer connection through a private group with like-minded vision-impaired Scholars

For more information and to apply, click here




Episode 23: Dangerous Vision Presents: Dan Berlin, Anything but Vanilla 

Dan Berlin is a successful entrepreneur and endurance athlete who happens to be blind.  After more than 12 years of working in large, multi-national corporations, he co-founded Rodelle, a world-leading vanilla extract company which sold to Archer-Daniels-Midland Company in 2018, and subsequently exited as CEO at age 48.  In addition to serving on several non-profit boards, he is a co-founder and President of Team See Possibilities, a non-profit organization which empowers young people with vision loss to thrive by providing scholarship and mentorship to high achieving college students who are vision impaired.  He also enjoys taking on epic endurance challenges around the world, challenging the perception of what a person with vision loss is capable of achieving.  Dan was the first blind runner to complete the 46-mile rim to rim to rim run across the Grand Canyon and back, and has subsequently run over a dozen marathons, Ironman triathlons, as well as trail-ultramarathons in South America, Africa, Asia, and New Zealand. Dan’s passion is finding and uplifting ability in himself and others.

To learn more about Team See Possibility Scholarships and how to apply click here:


Or have questions for Dan email


Applications are live from March 2-April 30th 2020


Episode 22: Dangerous Vision Presents:  Boy Wonder, a conversation with Matthew Shifrin

Innovation comes in all shapes, sizes, and ages.  Meet Matthew Shifrin.  As a 13 year he wanted to do one simple thing–build legos from the directions lego provided. The directions are pictures of each step, pictures that are not accessible.  In this episode of Dangerous Vision host, Randy Cohen asks Matthew how he got the company to do something about this problem. Today Matthew is a college at the New England Conservatory of Music majoring in contemporary Improvision. Matthew is a countertenor and an accomplished accordion player. This is one Dangerous Vision you must listen to. For more information go to mabvi.org.  Book mentioned:

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

   By Chris Voss

Episode 21:  Captain Kirk: Kirk Adams CEO and President of AFB

As the president and chief executive officer of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Kirk Adams is a longtime champion of people who are blind or visually impaired and is committed to creating a more inclusive, accessible world for the more than 20 million Americans with vision loss.

Randy Cohen jumps into the alphabet soup once again to find out how this AFB is different from NFB (National Federation of the Blind) and ACB (American Council of the Blind). Randy and Kirk talk about research, policy, and creating an app to navigate public bathrooms. What is the novel that they both are reading and love? Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi.  For more information visit www.mabvi.org/resources/dangerous-vision/

Episode 20:  Dangerous Vision Presents: New Vision in Architecture

At the age of 45, San Fransicso architect Chris Downey lost his sight.  It was dramatic and sudden yet it didn’t alter Chris’s chosen profession.  In fact, Chris thinks he is a better architect because he designs with inclusion in mind.  In this episode of Dangerous Vision, Randy and Chris talk about how an architect without sight designs, he experiences the building in a much different manner, ie feeling parts of the building and hearing other parts. From loss of sight came a new perspective and the discovery of Outsights – lessons learned that form an expanded vision for architectural work, research, service, and talks.

Chris’s top tech go-to piece continues to be his iPhone as well as Aira.

Resources and information:

The Salesforce Transit Center

Sustainability Pavilion UAE

The Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired in San Francisco

Aira Tech

Episode 19:  3 B’s Business, Basketball, and Blindness, Part 2 of our conversation with Wyc Grousbeck

Part 2 of Randy’s conversation with Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck passes between basketball and blindness.  Wyc’s candid conversation shares the human sides of Celtics legends Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen.  However, he shares his most touching story about his son, Campbell.  (this is at 30:20).

There is much about Wyc that isn’t talked about here but is worth noting.

1. The French Lick Band.

2. Wyc and his wife Emilia own a Tequila brand named Cincoro with other NBA superstars/owners including  Michael Jordan, Jeanie Buss, and Wes Edens.

3. Wyc is chair of the board for Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. 


Episode 18:  3 B’s Business, Basketball, and Blindness, a conversation with Wyc Grousbeck

There are few men in the Boston area who have done as much for the blind community than NBA Celtics owner and philanthropist Wyc Grousbeck.  While he is a high profile owner of an NBA team it is clear from this conversation he is a devoted and loving father. In mid-November, at the PRX Podcast Garage in Boston, Dangerous Vision hosted a LIVE  conversation between host Randy Cohen and Wyc Grousbeck.

Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired Sassy Outwater-Wright welcomed the audience mainly from the blind community by saying “there is no right way to do blind. The Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired or MABVI is here to support you where you are in your journey.” She went on to say there are many voices in the blind community and this is one of the reasons why she loves the podcast, there is room for discussion and dialogue.

This is part 1 of a two-episode conversation

Episode 17:  Dangerous Vision Presents from Miles to Marathons

In the latest episode of Dangerous Vision, Randy Cohen talks with Marla Runyan,  a former world-class American track and field athlete and marathon runner who is legally blind. At age nine, she was diagnosed with Stargardts disease, a form of juvenile macular degeneration that causes progressive vision loss. Randy and Marla talk about running, determination, and reinvention. Today Marla is the manager of the para-athletic division for the Boston Athletic Association.  The B.A.A., established in 1887, is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The Boston Marathon is one of many races put on by the B.A.A.


Boston Athletic Association

Marla Runyan


Episode 16: Fernando’s Hideaway

Randy Cohen and Fernando Albertorio have a lot in common. Both are connected to Harvard and MIT, both have an entrepreneurial spirit, and both are living with vision loss. Randy lives with retinitis pigmentosa and Fernando with albinism. Fernando talks about growing up in Puerto Rico with this condition, the valuable lessons he learned from his father, and his mother’s indomitable personality. Fernando creates products that enhance people’s lives, as the CEO of the Sunu Band. Designed for when you can’t easily use sight or due to a vision impairment, Sunu Band enables you to walk and travel with confidence. Sunu Band is the only smart-band that guides your way around obstacles. It uses sonar or echolocation to detect objects up to 16 feet or 5.5 meters away


Sunu Band

Information on Albinism

About Fernando

Episode 15: Harvard Professor and the New York Millennial

In this episode of Dangerous Vision, Randy Cohen talks with Alison Lynch. Alison may not be your typical Millennial but she is the first Millennial Randy has spoken with. She drives her more than avocado toast? Let’s start with the law, running, and the bonus of living in New York as a person who is legally blind. Alison has Achromatopsia -this s a condition characterized by partial or total absence of color vision.


Episode 14: Relentless Romero

Jason Romero has earned his nickname “Relentless Romero.” He is a lawyer, a Fortune 500 business Executive, and a runner. In fact, running has launched his current profession as a motivational speaker. In the 14th episode of Dangerous Vision, Randy and Jason talk about living with retinitis pigments and sight loss, and Jason shares how he has turned certain challenges into wonderful opportunities. His epic run across America is a lesson in perseverance and true grit. For information on Jason visit www.relentlessromero.com

Do you want more information on Jason–or have him speak to your group or organization?  Check out these


Episode 13: Meeting of the Minds

In the 13th episode of Dangerous Vision, Randy Cohen talks with Sara Minkara, founder and CEO of Empowerment Through Integration (ETI), a nonprofit committed to developing a more inclusive society. Sara has a long list of accomplishments, including being named a Forbes Magazine “30 Under 30”. Sara and Randy talk about education, their mutual love of math, and the camp Sara created in Lebanon– a summer camp for both blind and sighted children.

Learn about Sara’s work internationally and how does she fund this special camp.


Episode 12: Head of the Class

One is a professor at a large east-coast university and the other is a professor at a large west-coast university. Harvard meets the University of California Berkeley| HBS meets UC Berkeley| Randy meets Georgina.
In episode 12 of Dangerous Vision the Podcast host Randy Cohen chats up Georgina Kleege of the English Department. Their fields of study couldn’t be any different (Math vs English) yet being a part of the blindness community quickly forges a fast friendship. Georgina shares her personal rants and resentments towards Helen Keller; “‘Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller ‘(2006) transcends the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction to re-imagine the life and legacy of this celebrated disability icon.

One is a professor at a large east-coast university and the other is a professor at a large west-coast university. Harvard meets the University of California Berkeley| HBS meets UC Berkeley| Randy meets Georgina.
In episode 12 of Dangerous Vision the Podcast host Randy Cohen chats up Georgina Kleege of the English Department. Their fields of study couldn’t be any different (Math vs English) yet being a part of the blindness community quickly forges a fast friendship. Georgina shares her personal rants and resentments towards Helen Keller; “‘Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller ‘(2006) transcends the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction to re-imagine the life and legacy of this celebrated disability icon.


Georgina Kleege UC Berkeley

To order Georgina Kleege’s Books

Episode 11: Podcast Palooza

There are over 700,000 podcasts to choose from on a regular basis. To many in the blindness community, Nancy and Peter Torpey are familiar as the hosts of Eyes on Success. This podcast has been regular listening since 2011. Meanwhile Jenine Stanley, the host of “AIRA-cast” is more of a newbie, but has dreamed of hosting a podcast for years. In this episode of Dangerous Vision, Randy gets valuable podcast advice. Nancy Torpey sums it up by saying “it is a whole lot of work.”


For More info On Aira 

To Listen to Aira-cast

For More Infomation on Eyes on Success

Episode 10: NFB on the ABC’s

In part two of Randy Cohen’s conversation with Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, the focus is on education. The idea of education as the major civil rights issue for many in the blind community. The education of blind students should be a continuum of educational services. Schools should be prepared to give the same educational services for all students, sighted and blind.


National Federation of the Blind

Episode 9:   Of the Blind Not For the Blind

This week’s Dangerous Vision is part one of a two-part conversation with Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. As President Mark leads the nation’s oldest and largest blindness consumer organization. Part watchdog and part entrepreneur, Mark shares with Randy Cohen how growing up in Milwaukee Wisconsin shaped his sense of community and social justice.


National Federation of the Blind


Episode 8: Is there a Right Way to do Blind? 

In the 8th episode of Dangerous Vision, Randy Cohen talks with Chris Meredith, a financial test engineer, and accessibility officer. Randy and Chris cover a lot of topics including how to make a workplace more inclusive to the latest tech, and employment trends.


Episode 7: High Tech High Notes

By day Bill McCann was a computer programmer and by night he was a trumpeter and composer. In this week’s Dangerous Vision Bill McCann opens up about the time of his life when he ditched the day job to focus on his passion–music. This led to the launch of Dancing Dots Braille Music Technology.


Dancing Dots

Episode 6:  Top Dog

Thomas Panek is the CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind. He is not only the President, he is also a client. In this week’s Dangerous Vision Randy and Thomas talk about the special bond Thomas has with his guide dog, Gus. What did Gus do that no other guide dog has ever done? What is Thomas doing right now that is advancing medical science?

Guiding Eyes for the Blind


Episode 5: “Blind Date”

In this week’s Dangerous Vision Randy Cohen pulls back the covers on widely held beliefs about dating and sexuality with Robin Mandell. Robin is the creator of Ready, Sexy, Able, an online resource tool that navigates the complicated world of relationships. There’s no such thing as normal sex, and ways of having sex that accommodate different bodies and minds aren’t lesser or adaptive. This episode is adult in nature with content that would suggest a PG 13 rating;



Episode 4: The Silent High 5

American Idol is perhaps the biggest television show ever. While there have been hundreds to thousands of contestants there has been only one blind singer to make it into the top ten and that is Scott MacIntyre. In this episode of Dangerous Vision, Randy Cohen dives into music and dishes the dirt with Scott. Scott has something interesting to say about vision loss and is the recipient of a new kidney.


Episode 3:  Firm Footing

In part two of Randy’s candid conversation with Randy Pierce, we take a step by step journey into blind hiking. From the Grand Canyon’s smooth trails to the twists and turns of Mount Kilimanjaro, Randy Pierce describes every adventure.


Episode 2:  Randy Squared

Randy Cohen meets Randy Pierce. While Randy Cohen lectures at Harvard Business School Randy Pierce visits hundreds/thousands of classrooms nationwide sharing his story of perseverance. Randy is the founder and President of 2020 Vision Quest, an organization that leads and inspires students and professionals to reach their peak potential.


Episode 1:  Madame President

Randy Cohen dives into the alphabet soup of blindness organizations with a rousing conversation with Kim Charlson. Kim has a lot on her mind as she looks back on her time as the first woman President of the American Council of the Blind. Kim candidly reflects on the consumer side of the blindness community while also sharing her hopes for what is ahead. Did we also mention Kim is the executive director of the Perkins Library?


About Randy Cohen

Randy Cohen Sitting behind desk , woman wearing a hajib in front speaking into microphoneRandy Cohen, Dangerous Vision’s host, teaches finance and entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School and sits on the Board of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He has retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease of the retina.  Not that long ago it would have been insanely difficult to teach classes, travel the world, and do all the other things he does without his eyesight.  But now a combination of cool technologies, clever tips and tricks, and simple human kindness make it all possible for Randy. But that is not enough. Randy wants to do and learn more, and maybe even things he’s never been able to do before.

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