Connecting Dots

A Blind Life

Contributors

By Joshua A. Miele

With Wendell Jamieson

Formats and Prices

Price

$30.00

Price

$39.00 CAD

The extraordinary memoir of a scientist who became blind at a young age—how he navigates his experience and channels his genius into decades of cutting‑edge work in accessibility—packed with humor, adventure, and insights on life and disability.
 
At the age of four, Joshua Miele was blinded and badly burned when a delusional neighbor poured sulfuric acid over his head in a crime that shocked New York. It could have ended his life, but instead, Miele—naturally curious, and a born problem solver—not only recovered, but thrived. Throughout his life, Miele has found increasingly inventive ways to succeed in a world built for the sighted, and to help others to do the same. At first reluctant to even think of himself as blind, he eventually embraced his blindness and became a committed advocate for disability and accessibility. Along the way, he grappled with drugs and addiction, played bass in a rock band, worked for NASA, became a guerilla activist, deconstructed and reconstructed myriad technologies, and married the love of his life and had two children. He chronicles the evolution of a number of revolutionary accessible technologies and his role in shaping them, including screen readers, tactile maps, and audio description.

Connecting Dots delivers a captivating first-person perspective on blindness and disability as incisive as it is entertaining, and ultimately triumphant: In 2021 Miele won a MacArthur “Genius” award for his work in accessibility. His story demonstrates the normality of blindness as he lives, loves, invents, raises a family, and takes pride in his blind identity. It also introduces us to an extraordinary cast of characters, from his loving if eccentric family, to his rock-and-roll buddies and first loves, to the devoted teachers and brilliant colleagues whose encouragement and collaboration supported his success. It’s a riveting romp, interweaving tales of invention and independence with humor, struggle, and achievement —the story of one ordinary blind life with an indelible impact.

On Sale
Mar 4, 2025
Page Count
288 pages
Publisher
Hachette Books
ISBN-13
9780306832789

Joshua A. Miele

About the Author

Dr. Joshua A. Miele is a prominent blind scientist, designer, and thought leader in accessible technology and disability. He is a recipient of the 2021 MacArthur Fellowship, an Amazon Design Scholar, and Distinguished Fellow at UC Berkeley’s OBI.  He is known for creating inclusive technologies that address critical needs and challenge societal assumptions, and for speaking with frank humor about the lived disability experience. Dr. Miele helps guide the non-visual customer experience for Amazon devices, and advises widely on accessible design, research methods, and disability inclusion. He is the father of two adult children and lives with his wife in Berkeley, California.
 
Wendell Jamieson worked for four major New York City newspapers during a 32-year journalism career, twice being part of Pulitzer Prize-winning teams. During his tenure as Metro editor of The New York Times, Metro staff members won two Polk Awards and were Pulitzer finalists on four occasions. He is currently the Editorial Director of Nicholas & Lence Communications in Manhattan. He is the author of Father Knows Less (Putnam; 2007) and New York by New York (Assouline; 2018). He grew up in Brooklyn and lives there still, with his wife, Helene Stapinski. They have two grown children, Dean and Paulina.
 

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