Eyes on Success

Wednesday and Sunday at 5 p.m.
  • Hosted by Peter and Nancy Torpey

Eyes On Success presents information, demonstrations and discussion of products, services, and life experiences that help people with vision loss live independently and productively.  Topics range from detailed descriptions of adaptive equipment and programs such as screen readers and portable Braille displays to discussions of various accessible reading materials to personal stories of engaging in extreme sports and other hobbies. There's something for everyone on Eyes On Success.

Eyes On Success is hosted and produced by Peter Torpey and Nancy Goodman Torpey and distributed by WXXI Reachout Radio in Rochester, NY.  Nancy and Pete speak from personal experiences.  As retired physicists, and self-proclaimed "geeks" Pete, who is blind carries the heavy tech load, and Nancy who is sighted provides the warmth and color commentary.

Ways to Connect

EOS #1847: Hamming It Up, 11/21/18

Nov 19, 2018

Being a ham or amateur radio operator can be a fun hobby and a great way to connect with others around the world.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Mike Duke, a blind ham operator (call sign K5XU) and director of Radio Reading Service of Mississippi, about how he got involved in the hobby, how it has changed over the years, and how accessible it is now.

Blinded Veterans Association

Joe Bogart, Executive Director of the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), is the first legally blind soldier to return to combat duty since the Civil War.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Joe about the various services offered to veterans by the BVA as well as the relationship between the BVA and the Veterans Administration.

Morgan Rehnberg

Astronomy is often thought of as based on visual observation.  As it turns out most raw astronomical observations are not visible and must be transformed to be perceived by humans.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Morgan Rehnberg, a blind astronomer, about these issues in relation to those who are vision impaired and how he’s able to do his job.

EOS #1844: Sounds of the Stars, 10/31/18

Oct 29, 2018

Last week we talked about creating tactile representations of the universe.  This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Greg Salvesen, a post-doctoral fellow at UCSB, and Matt Russo, a professor of astronomy at Seneca College about using sonification to transform astronomical data into audio for use by both sighted and vision impaired people.

EOS #1843: Touching the Stars, 10/24/18

Oct 22, 2018

Signals captured by astronomical observatories are often outside of the range of human perception and must be transformed so that scientists can work with them.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Kim Arcand who has created tactile representations of the universe based on data from many sources including the Chandra X-ray Observatory where she works.

Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

In past episodes of Eyes On Success we talked about how guide dogs are raised and trained to work with their owners.  But how do you know if a guide dog is right for you and, if you decide that you want a guide dog, how do you prepare?  This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Marc Gillard of Guide Dogs for the Blind who addresses these questions.


Encore edition of Eyes on Success #1335

Victor Tsaran grew up in Ukraine and is totally blind.  Karo Caran grew up in Poland and is partially sighted.  Last week Nancy and Peter Torpey talk to them about their careers working on accessibility at Google.  This week we’ll learn how they met in the U.S., became married, and managed to make a life together despite geographical obstacles.


This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with a married couple, Victor Tsaran and Karo Caran, both of whom are visually impaired and both of whom work at Google in the area of accessibility.  Learn what it is like to work at Google and how Google integrates accessibility into the design of their wide range of products and applications.

National Park Service

The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) has over 400 sites that are visited by over 300 million people each year.  They strive to make these sites as accessible as possible for everyone.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Ray Bloomer, Accessibility Specialist for Accessibility Support Programs, about the NPS and how their sites can be enjoyed by all.

EOS #1838: Ironman Triathlete, 09/19/18

Sep 17, 2018

Last week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talked with Michael Somsan, a military veteran who was blinded by a gunshot to the head at the age of 23.  Now a successful lawyer, judge, and professor, Michael talks about his participation in ironman triathlons as well as some of the special challenges faced by blind athletes in these extreme sporting events.

Read the full story of inspiration from the World Tribune.


Michael Somsan was a young man in the military and in the best of shape when his life was suddenly changed.  As a result of a gunshot to the head he was left blinded at the age of 23 wondering what the rest of his life would bring.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk to him about how he worked through many challenges to become a lawyer, judge, and professor.

Read more about this military veteran and single dad with two daughters; their family motto is "never give up, and never be defeated."


This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey share a bit of their own story.  They talk about their education as well as their careers as research physicists at Xerox Corporation.  Learn how Peter’s vision changed over the years and what accommodations he had to make.  Also learn how Nancy dealt with similar issues in her career in a predominantly male environment.

Ontario Nonprofit Network

If you can’t see the action on the stage, audio description fills in the gaps and helps you know what’s going on.  This week hosts Nancy Goodman Torpey and Peter Torpey visit their regional theater company and talk to the people who make it happen.  Learn what’s involved in creating an audio described performance and experience one with them.

Lonely Planet

Audio Description uses spoken language to convey the visual world. It can direct a visitor through a museum, orient a listener to a work of art, or allow access to the visual aspects of a performance.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Rachel Melton of MindsEye Radio about the ins and outs of audio description and what makes good description.


Samplitude is a sophisticated music production program from Magix that is now accessible using JAWS with specially developed scripts.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Steve Spammer about how he and a community of blind individuals connected with Tom Wolf from the Magix development team and worked together to make this possible.


For various reasons, people who are visually impaired may feel reluctant to use ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Chris Simek and Michelle Plunkett of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute about their research into ride sharing services for the visually impaired and how the experience can be improved.

Join hosts Peter and Nancy Torpey as they explore their new home state of Colorado in celebration of their 35th anniversary.  Follow them as they prepare for their journey, walk trails along raging rivers, hike along narrow ledges hanging on steep canyon walls, and more.  You might even learn the true story of Mike the headless chicken!


The American Foundation for the Blind just announced the launch of the Helen Keller Archive.   In honor of that, hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey reprise an interview with Helen Selsdon, the AFB archivist, about her work and about this rich source of information on the history of visual impairment, women's history, literary history, and American culture.

Explore the Helen Keller Digital Archive.


WayAround is a smart phone app that provides on-demand details about everyday things. This tag-and-scan system enables the user to easily identify objects and also provides extra details, like how something works or when it expires.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Darwin Belt and Jessica Hipp about the WayAround system and how it works.

Read more about co-founder Darwin Belt's personal journey through vision loss.

The Blind Guide

Our listeners like our “tips and tricks” episodes so join hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey in another. Hear a variety of tips and suggestions that we’ve been collecting from using your smart home device to working with Windows and iOS more efficiently to finding interesting reading material and more.  You’ll be sure to find something that’s right for you!


Blind since birth, twin brothers John and Larry Gassman became proficient with computers and now both have similar jobs that entail making sure the software used by each of their employers is accessible to other blind employees using screen readers.  Join hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey as they talk with the Gassman brothers about their work and other experiences.

EOS #1826: WeWALK Smart Cane, 06/27/18

Jun 25, 2018

WeWALK transforms the white cane into an innovative smart cane for visually impaired travelers.  In addition to detecting obstacles above chest level, WeWALK seamlessly integrates with smart phones and third-party apps.  Hosts Peter and Nancy Torpey speak with Kursat Ceylan, a visually impaired social entrepreneur, about WeWALK and its development. 


There are common challenges and obstacles that people encounter whether they have a visual impairment or some other disability.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Gabriela Serrato Marks, a geology graduate student at MIT about her experiences and thoughts about receiving an education and having a career in a STEM field as a person with a disability. Learn more about Gabi, PhD Student and Science Communicator.

EOS #1824: Your Amazing Eyes, 06/13/18

Jun 11, 2018
MD Support

Dan Roberts maintains the MD Support group, a resource for people with Macular Degeneration and similar retinal diseases.  This week we hear a presentation Dan gave about the astounding design and abilities of our eyes.  Lots of interesting and fun facts about the eyes are presented, including an explanation of how baseball players are able to hit fastballs.  Learn more about Low Vision support groups for people with MD.

Make-Up Artist Magazine

Color-blindness affects about 1 in 12 men but only 1 in 250 women. For most people this isn’t a problem.  But what if your profession requires a good color sense?  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Toby Derrig, a color-blind visual effects artist, about how he compensates for this deficiency in his daily life and to perform his job.  Read more about how Toby Derrig is defying the odds and has been named a Rising Star.


We talked previously with Staci Mannella about competitive skiing and what it was like to participate in the Paralympics in both Sochi and PyeongChang.  Now hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Staci about what it takes to succeed as a visually impaired college student while traveling the world to compete in alpine skiing and how she juggled the two.

  Encore # 1725:  2017 IAAIS Program Award Winning Program

There is no question that people with vision problems should be seen by an ophthalmologist to evaluate their condition. Low vision specialists, on the other hand, aim to provide solutions to help in daily living. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Dr. George Kornfeld, a low vision optometrist, about aids and services that you might find beneficial.

Ego Camera

FlickType is a smart keyboard designed especially for blind users of iOS devices.  No need to tap the exact location of keys.  Fast and accurate, just sit back and enjoy typing and hear the results.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Ashley and Kosta Eleftheriou, Founder of FlickType, about how the keyboard works and why it is so efficient to use, even if you can’t see.

Audio Information Network of Colorado

Yes, you can now use the Google Assistant or Alexa to listen to the streams from many radio reading services.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey take a tour of the Audio Information Network of Colorado and see how some of these new distribution methods work, meet some of the staff, and learn what it takes to make these services available to the print impaired.


Advances in technology and distribution methods have dramatically impacted how traditional radio reading services deliver content to people who are print impaired and what content is available.  Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with David Dawson, Executive Director of the Audio Information Network of Colorado, about what services are available.