Dr. Kutsch is the first blind President & CEO of The Seeing Eye, the oldest institution which matches guide dogs with blind individuals.
“It’s interesting that we’re talking about WVU and The
Seeing Eye at the same time because I’ve said to many individuals that those
are the two organizations that made the most impact on my life.”
One year before making his way to West Virginia University, Dr. James Kutsch lost his sight after an accident in his junior year of high school. After completing his freshman year at the University by navigating campus with a long white cane, he came the conclusion that a guide dog could help him become more mobile.
He attended The Seeing Eye, the oldest and most recognized guide dog institution.
“I found that working with a dog was much easier and much faster. I was always a very fast walker before I lost my sight and I was able to return to that very fast pace.”
With the help of his first dog from The Seeing Eye, Shiba, Dr. Kutsch completed a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree at WVU before making his way to the University of Illinois to complete is PhD in Computer Science.
Dr. Kutsch is credited with designing the first talking computer for blind individuals as well as developing one of the earliest screen readers. Before becoming an engineer at AT&T Bell Labratories, he came back to West Virginia University as Professor of Computer Science.
In 2006, Dr. Kutsch returned to The Seeing Eye as President & CEO where he helps to change lives with each new class of blind individuals matched with Seeing Eye dogs.
“I have the best job in the world…I was always touched and impressed by the difference WVU made in four years when I was a professor there. We get to see that here at The Seeing Eye, we’re able to change people’s lives in four weeks as they graduate with their new Seeing Eye dogs.”