About the Author

Timothy E. Hornik, LMSW, CATIS

Captain, US Army, Retired

Founder and CEO of Blind Not Alone, LLC

Timothy at the Podium at the University of Kansas before President Obama came on stage in 2016.


Mr. Timothy Hornik is a medically retired Army officer, Licensed Masters of Social Work (LMSW), and Certified Assistive Technology Instructional Specialist (CATIS). As the founder of Blind Not Alone LLC, he provides training, advocacy, and education on technologies for individuals with visual impairments through regular teleconferences, podcasts, and as a fee for service contractor for state and federal rehabilitation services. Advocacy outreach occurs through public speaking engagements, guest lectures with undergraduate and graduate courses, and presentations at professional and membership based organizations throughout the country. He currently pursues a PhD in Therapeutic Sciences through the University of Kansas Medical Center’s Occupational Therapy Education, investigating adaptive sporting and recreational programs for disabled Veterans. He is the Vice President for the Heartland Regional group of the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), and collaborates on multiple national committees. Finally, he serves on multiple Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program panels as the consumer reviewer. Through these roles Timothy advocates, educates and assists fellow Veterans and their families to cope with and overcome the barriers created by disabilities.

Military History

Timothy in the Army Combat Uniform walking with his young daughter on one of Fort Leavenworth's trails. He is using his white cane in his right hand while holding his daughter with his left hand.

Mr. Hornik commissioned into the Army in 2002 from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, and deployed with the 1st Cavalry Division in September 2004, where injuries caused his blindness. He successfully remained on Active Duty from 2004 until electing to medically retire in December of 2011. During this timeframe, he served at Fort Bliss for ADA Officer Basic Course, Fort Benning for Mechanized Leader Training, Camp Casey with 2nd Infantry Division, Baghdad with 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood with Operational Test Command, University of Kansas for a Masters in Social Work, and Fort Leavenworth with Army Wounded Warrior program.

Educational Experiences

Timothy presenting his findings related to his PhD work.

Mr. Hornik attended Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI, on a 4 year Army ROTC scholarship. He graduated in August 2002 with a Bachelor in Liberal Studies, while pursuing Army ROTC requirements from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. After graduation, he attended the Aird Defense officer training course at Fort Bliss, learning the fundamentals of leadership and the military division making process. In 2010 he returned to academia through the Masters in Social Work program at the University of Kansas, focusing on disability advocacy and medical social work. The MSW education played a signifiant role in his recovery through the integration of his military identity with his blindness identity. This theme serves as his underlying professional and research endeavors.

Awards and Distinctions

Timothy receiving his Purple Heart at Fort Hood in 2004.

Mr. Hornik earned military and civilian recognition for service. During his military experience, he received the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Purple Heart for injuries sustained, Army Accommodation Medal with Valor for actions in combat, campaign ribbons for service in Iraq and Korea, Combat Action Badge, and many other awards. During his civilian life, he received the KU MSW Margo Award for clinical practice, the KU Wounded Warrior Scholarship for his PhD pursuits, inducted into the inaugural UW La Crosse ROTC Hall of Fame, and nominated by UW La Crosse for the US Army ROTC Hall of Fame.

Presentations and Public Speaking Engagements

Below is a list of the various presentations and public speaking engagements for Tim. He is available upon request to serve you and your organization as a motivational speaker, guest lecturer, keynote speaker, or other types of public to private events for your organization or class. Simply send us an email by clicking here for more information.

  • Social Work CEU Presenter, Topeka Veterans Affairs Medical Center, October 2017
    Informed Social Workers on the presentation of visual impairments amongst Veterans, common assistive or adaptive solutions, and interventional strategies
  • Keynote Speaker, St. Joseph’s Vet 2 Vet Armed Forces Day Celebration, May 2017
    Discussed the roles of community and military relationships in supporting Service Members, families, and Veterans integrate into civilian life
  • Poster Presentation, University of Kansas Medical Center Student Research Forum, April 2017
    Presented the findings from a literature review describing beneficial components of adaptive sporting and recreational programs for disabled Veterans
  • Guest Lecturer, Strengths-based Assessments with Consumers with Disabilities, University of Kansas Medical Center Masters of Occupational Therapy, March 2017
    Described how social workers might employ Empowerment Theory principals when serving persons with disabilities at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels
  • Guest Lecturer, Transpersonal Theory and Resilience Following a Disability, University of Kansas Masters of Social Work, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, November 2016
    Described the key components of transpersonal theory and how it relates to resiliency following a traumatic disability
  • Keynote Speaker, Burns and McDonald Veterans Day Remembrance, November 2015
    Discussed the role family, community, and personal resilience impacted my ability to recover from combat injuries, remain on Active Duty for seven years, and pursue graduate education to over 200 Burns and McDonald employees
  • Guest Presenter, Kansas Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired Annual Convention, November 2015
    Described the impacts and resources for low vision and blinded Veterans in Kansas
  • Guest Lecturer, History of Visual Impairments Amongst US Veterans, University of Kansas American Studies, Disabled Veterans in History, October 2015
    Discussed the evolution of services and programs impacted the lives of visually impaired Veterans from the Civil War to present day, citing previous class assignments and personal narratives
  • Guest Lecturer, Empowerment Theory for Persons with Disabilities, University of Kansas Masters of Social Work, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, September 2015
    Described how social workers might employ Empowerment Theory principals when serving persons with disabilities at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels
  • Panel Presenter, Celebrating 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Independence Incorporated, July 2015
    Informed on the impacts of the Americans with Disabilities Act on disabled Veterans and the blind
  • Panel Presentation Coordinator on Veteran Medical and Transitioning Services for Representatives from the Czech Republic, April 2015
    Devised, coordinated, and orchestrated a panel of service providers from the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Kansas Graduate Military Programs presenting on Veteran services
  • Pledge of Allegiance Leader for President Obama’s visit to the University of Kansas,, January 2015
    Nominated and selected by the University of Kansas’ Chancellor’s Office
  • Panel Presenter, Effective Communications with People with Disabilities in the Healthcare Setting, University of Kansas Medical Center’s Student Life, October 2014
    Provided an overview of common barriers and stigma faced by blind consumers of medical services and within medical training
  • Session Presenter, BVA National Convention, August 2014
    Presentation on usage of a variety of applications and features within iOS devices for visually impaired Veterans
  • Public Speaker, Fort Leavenworth Rod and Gun Club, KAMO Adventures, DecemberJune 2014
    Conveyed how how higher education and outdoors sporting activities positively impacted my recovery following a traumatic injury
  • Panel Presenter, M-Enabling Summit Wounded Warrior Panel, TAVVI and BVA, June 2014
    Defined the impact mobile technologies possess on war blinded Veterans when integrating back ing civilian life
  • Panel Presenter, Road to Recovery, CSAH, December 2013
    Described personal experiences while recovering and transitioning into civilian life following a traumatic wartime injury, and answered an array of questions from the roughly 100 disabled Veterans and their support systems
  • Keynote Speaker, Heroes Amongst Us,Missouri Western University, November 2013
    Keynote speaker at awards ceremony for Veteran students and faculty, featuring the board of Governors, president, faculty, and students
  • Special Presenter, Blinded Veterans and Friends peer support group, November 2013
    Provided an overview of changes in iOS 7 as they relate to visually impaired users
  • Guest Presenter, Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired Kansas State Convention, November 2013
    Described the impacts and resources for low vision and blinded Veterans in Kansas
  • Break-Out Session Presenter, BVA National Convention, August 2013
    Presentation on successful implementation strategies of Apple iOS devices within the lives of visually impaired and blind individuals
  • Army Warrior Transition Unit Command brief, Fort Riley, July 2013
    Provided an overview of community resources and partners assisting Wounded Warriors with recovery and transitioning into civilian life
  • Presenter, Visual Impairment Services Team Peer Support Group at the Kansas City VA, June 2013
    Described and demonstrated a variety of entertainment tools, techniques, and resources for the visually impaired
  • Presenter, Leavenworth VA In-Service, December 2012
    Conducted an overview of the visual impairment services in the VA and struggles visually impaired Veterans encounter
  • Guest Lecturer, U.S. Military in Global Context, University of Kansas American Studies, November 2012
    Historical overview and present day impacts of the U.S. military in global context
  • Guest Lecturer, University of Kansas Bachelors of Social Work, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, November 2011 and 2012
    General overview of social work with Veterans and the importance of resiliency during recovery from traumatic experiences
  • Guest Speaker, Leavenworth Veterans Day Celebration, November 2012
    Expressed the importance of community support during transitioning from military to civilian life
  • Co-presenter, Social Work Days at Fort Leavenworth, April 2012
    Described concepts and case studies of resiliency and spirituality as an intervention method and program models to mental health professionals
  • Guest Lecturer, University of Kansas Masters of Social Work, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, December 2010)
    Addressed practice concerns when assisting disabled Veterans and Service Members
  • Co-presenter, University of Kansas School of Social Welfare Practicum Liaison’s In-Service, September 2011
    Co-presented with Dr. Ed Canda on the importance of resiliency after sustaining a severe disability
  • Keynote Speaker, Department of Defense Vision Center of Excellence convention, August 2010
    Provided the opening marks and keynote presentation on the stages of loss in an annual multi-disciplinary medical conference examining pathways for care

Organizational Memberships

  • Military Officers Association of America
  • Disabled American Veterans
  • Kansas Council on Disability Concerns Service Animal Committee Member
  • Honorary member of the Blinded Veterans UK
  • Guide Dog users Inc lifetime member
  • Blinded Veterans Association’s various Board of Directors committees
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars

Other Articles and Links

Timothy using the trailing strips for blind cane users in Busan, South Korea, The strips are a bright yellow and his white cane fits easily into the grooves.