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Charity to run UK’s first virtual Deafblind Convention this October

The theme of Deafblind UK"s Deafblind Convention will be Living better with sight and hearing loss

laptop screen animation
Getty/Yuliya Baranych

Deafblind UK is set to host a virtual convention for the deafblind community and those working within it this October.

The Deafblind Convention 2021 will see speakers from the UK and elsewhere discussing the theme of Living better with sight and hearing loss.

It is hoped that the convention will bring people who are living with sight and hearing loss together with those who have a professional or academic interest in the field.

Subjects expected to be covered include recent research in the area, such as assistive technology, stem cell research, the role of eye clinic liaison officers, the importance of interpreter registration, mindfulness, and inclusivity, as well as talks from those who live with deafblindness.

CEO of Deafblind UK, Steve Conway, said: “It has always been our goal to share knowledge, experience and academic learning around deafblindness, and this event aims to do just that.

“We are really excited to provide an opportunity to come together, albeit virtually, and talk about a condition which is so often under-recognised.”

Deafblind UK is a national charity that supports people with sight and hearing loss. It is estimated that there are nearly 400,000 people living with deafblindness in the UK, and it has been predicted that this could grow to 600,000 by 2030.

The convention will take place on 7 October and will be the first of its kind in the UK.

Speakers will include:

  • Avril Watson, Stem Cell Research Group at Newcastle University
  • Dr Walter Wittich, associate professor at the School of Optometry, University of Montreal
  • Harriet Dunn, paediatric eye clinic liaison officer, Royal National Institute for Blind People and Alder Hey Hospital
  • Dr Peter Simcock, senior lecturer in social work, Birmingham City University
  • Kevin Frost, world champion speed skater
  • Marcus Hawthorn, executive director and registrar, National Registers of Communication Professionals Working with Deaf and Deafblind People
  • Emma Boswell, national usher co-ordinator, Sense Usher Service
  • James Clarke, deafblind runner and speaker
  • Molly Watt, accessibility and user experience consultant
  • Femke Kriger, researcher and holistic therapist
  • Liz Duncan, research manager at Deafblind UK

The Deafblind Convention 2021 is free to join and is available to book online.