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Home » Connected lives – Google and Deafblind Doctor, Alexandra Adams headline the Deafblind Conference 2023

Connected lives – Google and Deafblind Doctor, Alexandra Adams headline the Deafblind Conference 2023

by Leah Llano

The third virtual Deafblind Conference, hosted by the charity Deafblind UK will take place on 5th October 2023. The event will comprise talks from many well-known international and UK based speakers including deafblind doctor, Alexandra Adams and Head of Accessibility and Disability Inclusion, EMEA at Google, Christopher Patnoe.

The online event will focus on the topic of ‘Connected Lives’ and speakers will explore how deaf blindness affects all areas of someone’s life.

Deafblind UK CEO, Nikki Morris said: “We know that the effects of deaf blindness are far reaching, beyond the person directly affected. At this year’s conference we will explore how deaf blindness affects the people around us. We’ll look at how relationships, education and employment are impacted and explore the systems that are in place to support these areas. Once again, we are extremely proud to host this popular event. Having a day to explore the impact of deaf blindness, not only on the individual but beyond, is vitally important for everyone we work with.” 

Speakers include Alexandra Adams who is best known as the UK’s first deafblind person training to be a doctor.  Over the years, Alexandra’s personal experiences of discrimination and stereotyping both within and outside the workplace, has led her to take up a strong advocacy role in the world of better inclusivity and accessibility, adopting a passion and belief for the ‘can do’ attitude. Alexandra will share with us the reality that comes with trying to dispel the myths and misconceptions of being a deaf and blind healthcare professional; what and how she was inspired to become a doctor, the discrimination and hurdles she encountered, and what she has learnt about workplace cultures and general society views.

Also speaking at the event is Christopher Patnoe, Head of Accessibility and Disability Inclusion, EMEA at Google. Christopher leads Google’s work around the accessibility of product, people, policy and partnerships across EMEA – with a particular focus on Emerging Markets. He has more than 25 years’ experience in tech, working at companies such as Apple, Sony Ericsson and Disney, where he’s built hardware, software, and services. In his talk, Christopher will discuss the key factors in building inclusive, innovative products – using Google’s AT as examples of this in action.

Christopher and Alexandra will be joined by a host of other high class speakers, many with lived experience of deaf blindness. These include Dr Annmaree Watharow, Lived Experience Research Fellow from the University of Sydney and Megan Taylor, a social media star telling her ‘superdogs’ story.

This year’s conference will also include panel discussions on life as a deafblind parent, and how local authorities engage with people living with deaf blindness.

The event will bring people together to share thoughts, opinions, research, and experiences of living with sight and hearing loss. Delegates will be able to personalise their day by choosing from a wide range of insightful talks, giving a truly unique experience to all who attend. The event is free to join and is available to book online at: www.deafblind.org.uk/conference.

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