T.R. Johnson Speaker Series features Lonnie Bedwell
Blind Military Veteran. Extreme Adventure Athlete. Motivational Speaker. Author.
This year, the College of Education and Human Services’ annual T.R. Johnson Speaker Series will feature Lonnie Bedwell , award-winning author, adventure athlete, and motivational speaker. Lonnie holds the first blind kayak descents on the Grand Canyon, Zambezi, and Gauley Rivers. He has also climbed Mt. Denali. “Lonnie is a friend and I have had him speak in several classes when I was at Indiana University,” says Shay Dawson, Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Administration faculty member. “He is a very dynamic speaker and we are inviting students from special education, veteran students, recreational therapy, outdoor and environmental recreation, as well as disability studies and community inclusion to attend.”
Lonnie, a former Navy Petty Officer, was critically injured in 1997 in a hunting accident that instantly took his sight. Against all odds, he raised three daughters as a single father, teaching them all to hunt, fish and drive. After the girls went to college, Lonnie continued to challenge himself and became a renowned extreme sports athlete. Lonnie was National Geographic 2015 Adventurer of the Year. He has also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, summited several of North America’s highest mountains, and is an avid downhill skier.
Lonnie’s mission, as an advocate and active volunteer for people with disabilities and veterans, is to motivate and inspire everyone to embrace life with confidence and courage, no matter what challenges they may face.
This year’s event titled Where can your vison take you? will be held:
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Central Michigan University
College of Education and Human Services, French Auditorium, 195 Ojibway Ct.
It is free and open to the public. For students interested in learning more about the Rally Caps adapted sport RSO and the Recreational Therapy RSO, representatives will be in attendance outside of the French Auditorium.