About the Interviewee:
As a young boy growing up in the Belgian Congo, Dr. Dean Tuttle could not have imagined the pioneering role he would have in the field of blindness and visual impairment. At the age of nine, Dr. Tuttle was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa and learned that he would eventually lose his sight. Nevertheless, he did not let this slow him down. Just as he started his teaching career, his vision deteriorated to the point of legal blindness. Determined to prevent his vision loss from interfering with his love of teaching and his love of math, Dr. Tuttle underwent specialized training at the New Jersey Commission for the Blind. It was there that Josephine Taylor encouraged him to pursue his master’s degree in the education of students with visual impairments at San Francisco State University, under the leadership of Georgie Lee Abel.
At the age of 27, after earning his master’s degree from San Francisco State University, and while working as an itinerant/resource teacher, Dr. Tuttle lost all of his residual vision. Four years later, he became principal of the California School for the Blind. Wanting to update his second master’s degree in educational administration, Dr. Tuttle also earned a doctorate from the University of California at Berkley. He was then recruited by Grace Napier to join the faculty at the University of Northern Colorado. During his tenure, Dr. Tuttle undertook the task of synthesizing the sparse and divergent theories of coping with visual impairment, and co-authored Self-Esteem and Adjusting with Blindness: The Process of Responding to Life’s Demands. Dr. Tuttle also created a correspondence course for the Hadley School for the Blind.
In recognition of his many accomplishments, Dr. Tuttle has been honored with many awards including the C. Warren Bledsoe award from the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) for outstanding publication; recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children-Division on Visual Impairment (CEC-DVI) for outstanding contributions to the field, and named outstanding professional of the year by the American Foundation of the Blind (AFB). Even in his retirement, Dr. Tuttle serves as an advisor for the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) Hall of Fame committee. He also consults with the Hadley School for the Blind. In what little time he has left, Dr. Tuttle enjoys doing woodwork and tinkering with technology.