Welcome Aboard Friends!
My name is Ted Tahquechi, I am legally blind, and I love to travel. A car accident in 1999 left me with 5% low-functioning vision in only one eye. My field of vision is almost completely black (95% black) and I have no perception of detail beyond one inch. I can see limited portions of shapes, light, shadow and color. When I travel I always have my guide dog Fauna by my side. In October 2018, I completed my training and received my first guide dog Fauna from Guide Dogs for the Blind https://www.guidedogs.com/ . Before Fauna and I became a team, I relied on my white cane and sighted guide with my friends or family. The independence Fauna has given me has been nothing short of life-changing.
How did I get here?
When I graduated college, I took a summer job testing videogames for a small company called Atari (insert sarcastic voice here). I learned the ropes and worked my way up the corporate ladder, eventually moving from testing to making the games. As a senior external product manager, it was my job to oversee all aspects of a game’s creation from design and scheduling to tuning and even marketing. During my time in the games industry, I released 35 titles to market and worked for Atari, Accolade and Mattel Toys. I created many multi-million unit selling franchises and was on top of my game so to speak when a car accident robbed me of nearly all my vision leaving me adrift in a sea of uncertainty.
A very large part of my job description was traveling to the developers who were making the games to work with their teams on the day-to-day grind of creating a hit title. I traveled all over the world during this time – spending more time away from the office than at home. The net result of constant air travel was that I always had enough air miles saved up to vacation on a beach somewhere when a title was completed. I fell in love and traveled many times to Jamaica, The Bahamas, Hawaii and Mexico and all over Europe. When I was in college I was an avid Scuba Diver and spent every chance I could diving all over the numerous small islands in the Bahamas, and in Belize.
After the car accident, I did a lot of soul searching and decided to return to school to complete a degree in Fine Art Photography. I spent years learning new and innovative ways of using the camera to create artistic images, focusing on the composition of the scene rather than the detail – I am drawn to the shape, color and lines of the scene. I can’t see it all at once when I look through the viewfinder, so I mentally stitch the image together and rely on the camera to get the focus right. The result is all the images here on my site. I take all my own images.
you can see more of my work at: www.tahquechi.com
Why a travel blog?
I have traveled all over the world and I have been almost completely blind since 1999. I have scoured the internet looking for a travel blog dedicated directly to the needs to the visually impaired and didn’t find one that I liked – so I decided to make my own disabled travel blog. It is my hope that this site can be used as a resource for those traveling with, or those who have visual impairments. Whether you are new to the visually impaired lifestyle or have a friend or loved one with a vision problem, I hope you can find something of interest here.
The invisible disability
Before I started lecturing to groups about my vision loss, I had several friends who were completely unaware how bad my vision really was. This got me to thinking that unless you have outward visible indicators of a vision problem – like carrying a white cane, an eyepatch or the like, most people won’t realize that you have a vision problem. This comes to the point of communication. Asking for help and letting the others around you know that you do have a vision problem is important, but for many with limited vision, this can be embarrassing and a difficult topic to be open about. Getting up in front of hundreds of people to discuss how much you can and can’t see – and how it makes you feel quickly desensitizes you to the embarrassment of the topic. I assume however that many of my readers won’t be putting themselves into the situation I routinely subject myself to, so here on the blog I provide many tips on navigating the world mentally as well as physically with a visual impairment.
Supporting Legitimate service animal use
We have all been on a plane or in a store and experienced an ill-trained pet masquerading as an emotional support animal. These animals and their owners have given service animals a bad name. Since I began traveling with my guide dog Fauna, we have made it our goal to change the negative perceptions of service animals. Fauna takes her job very seriously and works very hard to be the ambassador of good dogs everywhere.
In 2019, I debuted a new body of photographic work called Fauna’s Adventures. With the help of Amtrak, United Airlines and Hilton Hotels, we have created a body of work which promotes the use of legitimate service animals in the travel and hospitality industry. You can read more about the collection on my photography site at:
As travel influencers, Fauna and I are always happy to work with new brands. If you would like to contact me, please email me at:
I do a lot of public speaking on vision loss, working in the games industry and of course traveling with low vision. If you would like to book me, I don’t charge. I have lectured at Art Galleries, Retro Game Conferences, Highschools, Colleges, and even summer camps for blind and visually impaired children. I love to meet new people and share my story. If you have questions or would like to schedule a talk, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org