About Dan Barra-Berger
Dan Barra-Berger is a legally-blind storyteller and stand-up comic based in Toronto.
Disability and Travel
Dan grew up in Nobleton, Ontario. His mother has been totally blind since before he was born, teaching Dan and his sister that you can have a disability and still be independent. Dan lost the full use of the vision in his left eye at age seven, the result of a playground accident. He attended Brock University and Niagara College for English Literature and Print Journalism, respectively. In late 2008, Dan was living in St. Catharines, Ontario, when the vision in his right eye suddenly failed. After three surgeries over the course of a few years, Dan had to find his way in a world not designed for people with disabilities. He was no longer able to drive, to pick up a book and flip through it, to play Super Mario World, to cook. At 24 years old, Dan had to relearn how to do almost everything from his sighted life.
Learning how to live with his disability and come to terms with his new situation, Dan fought with depression. At the cost of his health and marriage, he began to forge his own path. He decided to "play on hard mode," bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and there, through what he termed "self-imposed exile." Dan learned how to be independent, outgoing, resourceful, adaptive, and (somewhat) more positive. Dan has travelled solo, backpacking through 20+ countries with just his white cane and his phone.
Comedy, storytelling, and beyond
Since he moved to Toronto in 2016, Dan has started a career in stand-up comedy. He was in Canada's Top 100 in CBC Comedy's Next Up nationwide comedy competition. He has been a quarter-finalist in the 2018 Toronto Comedy Brawl, and a featured comic at both the 2018 and 2019 ReelAbilities Film Festival Comedy Nights, and spoke at the ROBAM Disability Conference at Ryerson University.
Dan is, at various times, a freelance accessibility consultant, writer, filmmaker, blogger, and filthy backpacker. His travel and accessibility YouTube channel, Three Points of Contact features Dan and his friend, musician Tyler Fitzpatrick (Spotify), as they adventure through Europe and Morocco. A disabled gamer, he appears on the video game channel, Game and Scotch, where he hosts Press Start to Start, a comedy and gaming-themed podcast.