2020 Conference

My Heart Is Not Blind: Voices of Older Blind, Michael Nye

Session Date: 
Monday, August 31, 2020 - 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm CDT

For the last seven years, Michael has been listening to men and women who are blind and visually impaired. Each photographic portrait is accompanied by an intimate story told by the subject concerning his or her experiences and unique perspective. Many of the personal narratives that accompany each portrait speak of the transition from sight to vision loss and how that has changed—and has not changed—the ability to perceive the world. Some participants question the classification of blindness as a disability, and one proposes that blindness may, in some ways, aid one's perception, saying that "if you can always see the sun, you can never discover the stars."

My Heart Is Not Blind: Voices of Older Blind offered compelling accounts of survival, adaptation, and heightened perspective. Through the gift of images and presence, each eloquent voice drew us into deeper understanding.

Download the questions and answers from Michael Nye's live Q&A session here. Questions addressed in this document include:

  1. What motivated you to do this project?
  2. Of all the people you have interviewed, what is the most valuable piece of wisdom you have learned?
  3. Will you continue to work with individuals with vision loss on future projects?


Michael Nye

Michael Nye standing next to an antique camera on a tripod

Michael Nye practiced law for ten years before pursuing photography full time. He has received a Mid-America National Endowment for the Arts grant in photography and two Kronkosky Charitable Foundation grants. He has participated in two Arts America tours in the Middle East and Asia.

His documentaries, photography, and audio exhibitions (Children of Children, Stories of Teenage Pregnancy, Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness and About Hunger & Resilience) have traveled to more than 150 cities across the country and continue to travel.

My Heart Is Not Blind: Voices of Older Blind is published by Trinity University Press. It is also an audio and photography exhibition that is traveling across the country.  Nye was awarded the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award from the National Federation of the Blind – 2019.  Nye lives in downtown San Antonio and is married to poet Naomi Shihab Nye.

As a child, he was called, “Mikey,” in middle age, “Michael,” and he is now back to “Mikey.”

Website: michaelnye.org/my-heart-is-not-blind/


Eileen Larson's picture

Though I have read the audio version of Nye's book, since I am sighted, his photography added another dimension to his writing and I really enjoyed his presentation. Thank you. Eileen Larson Accommodation Specialist for OIB The Independence Center in Colorado Springs, CO
Simon Marcy's picture

Thank you for your kind words. Michael is truly an incredible inspiration to us all.