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Michael Hingson with his guide dog Roselle, who helped Hingson lead his co-workers out of Tower One on Sept. 11.
Michael Hingson with his guide dog Roselle, who helped Hingson lead his co-workers out of Tower One on September 11.

On September 11, 2001, Michael Hingson, blind from birth, led his co-workers from the seventy-eighth floor of the World Trade Center’s Tower One with the help of his guide dog, Roselle, moments before it collapsed.

Hingson, now a New York Times best-selling author and international speaker, will share his personal stories and life lessons he’s learned during an 8:00 a.m. Knoxville breakfast on Wednesday, October 30.

The Disability Employment Awareness Breakfast is sponsored through a partnership including the University of Tennessee; Knoxville Center for Literacy, Education, and Employment; the Knoxville Area Employment Consortium; the City of Knoxville; the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development; and the Tennessee Division of Rehabilitation Services.

It will be held at the Crowne Plaza, 401 West Summit Hill Drive, and emceed by WATE-TV anchor Lori Tucker. Individual tickets are $30 or $225 for a table of eight. Attendees may register online by Friday, October 25.

Hingson’s Knoxville visit is part of the National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which celebrates the contributions that people with disabilities make in the workforce.

Hingson was working for Quantum, a high-tech company that manufactures tape backup systems, when the September 11 terrorist attacks took place. The company occupied a suite on the seventy-eighth floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center.

He later joined the San Rafael, California-based Guide Dogs for the Blind as the national public affairs director, sharing his September 11 story around the world on behalf of the organization.

In 2008, he established the Michael Hingson Group Inc. and is a consultant for corporations and organizations that need assistance with inclusive and diversity training and adaptive technology training.

Hingson and his wife, Karen, live in Northern California with his seventh guide dog, Africa.

Learn more about the UT Center for Literacy, Education, and Employment on the center’s website.


Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,

Tina Jones at (865-919-0205,