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Chris Downey, AIA, is an architect, planner and consultant who unfortunately lost all of his sense of sight in 2008. Today, he is dedicated to creating more helpful and enriching environments for the blind as well as the visually impaired. Chris consults on design for the blind and visually impaired, encompassing specialized centers as well as facilities serving the broader public.
Chris Downey's work ranges from a new Department of Veterans Affairs blind rehabilitation center, to renovations of housing for the blind in New York City, to a clinic for the Duke University Eye Center, and to the new Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco. As one of the few practicing blind architects in the world, Chris Downey has been featured in local, national and international media stories and speaks regularly about architecture and visual impairment.
He also teaches accessibility and universal design at UC Berkeley and serves on the Board of Directors for the Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco. Chris Downey starts each day rowing with the East Bay Rowing Club on the Oakland Estuary before commuting on public transit to his office in San Francisco.
Find out more about Chris Downey's work with Architecture for the Blind