Sebastian Mancipe

From: Jorge Mancipe

Subject: Interested in echolocation for my son
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2008

Hello Mr. Kish

This is Jorge Mancipe my son Sebastian is 12 yeard old and blind kid. I'm really interesting in your program of echolocation.

If you can let know please how can get access to the information of classes and others deatails I will apreciated it.

My Home phone ...
Cell phone: ...
E-mail: jorge_mancipe@...


When we began working with Sebastion, he was heavily reliant on being guided by others, and could not orient himself in new places. He was shy, quiet, and withdrawn. His Mobility Specialist from his school warned his parents not to contract with us, insisting it would be a waste of time and money, although we charged only a fraction of our typical rate and allowed them to pay as they were able. We worked with him on FlashSonar training and mobility training, as well as recreational training. Within about 10 hours of training over three months, Sebastion asked his parents for a razor scooter, and was taking himself out of his house into the neighborhood, insisting that they stay behind and leave him alone. After summer break, during which time we hardly saw him, Sebastion taught himself his way around his school, even though we had not been welcome to work with him there. He took the initiative to obtain his own locker so he could carry his own books like everyone else. At his next educational planning meeting, his Mobility Specialist kindly acclaimed our training as having made all the difference for Sebastion. By the following summer, Sebastion attended a technology camp at California School for the Blind. At the end of the week, his parents were told that Sebastion was the only student able to get around the campus himself. In all that, we only worked with Sebastion about 30 hours. The first 6 or 7 seemed to be going nowhere. Then, he just exploded!

Sebastian hones his soccer skills during our Soccer Clinic for Blind Youth.

Seeing with Sound: Using echolocation, the visually impaired get in the game.

Exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, YOU! The Experience - October, 2009

This short but impactful video showcases a blind teenager named Sebastion learning FlashSonar from Daniel Kish and Brian Bushway.

Sebastion Featured in Men's Journal

"The next day I join Kish and Bushway as they teach Sebastian Mancipe, who is 15 and has been working with World Access for three years. When he started, he rarely came out of his bedroom. He had little interaction with the outside world. He developed infant glaucoma and was blind by age three months. His parents moved from Colombia to the United States to give him a chance at a better life. His mother, Viviana, saw a brief appearance by Kish on the Ripley's Believe It or Not television show, and soon hired World Access to work with Sebastian.

He now rides a skateboard. He ice-skates. He's popular at school, stocked with friends and a busy social life. I follow as Kish and Bushway stroll around Sebastian's neighborhood, in a busy section of Burbank. He'd obviously mastered the echolocation basics … Kish and Bushway encourage him to push his skills further. "A tree," says Kish, clicking a couple of times, "is like a bush on a pole." They walk on. "A tree without a bush on top is probably a telephone pole." They pass a parking lot. "A large object that starts out low at one end, rises in the middle, and drops off again at the other end – that's a parked car."

Back at home, I ask Sebastian's mother about the impact World Access has had on her son. "It was an awakening," she says. "He believes he can do anything. To see Sebastian as a normal child..." She can't complete the sentence before the tears come."

Sebastion: Seeing with Sound

Katie Valovcin, Dan Duran, Kellie Henika - 2012

A full length documentary featuring Sebastion telling his story about our work with him.