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Advocating for those living with accessibility needs. Sharing experiences, raising awareness and understanding of how assistive accessible technology enhances and enables those in need.


UsTwo and Me

UsTwo and Me

I was fortunate to be asked to give a Keynote Presentation to a company in the City last week.

I was excited to be invited but also anxious as not only was it in central London on a Friday afternoon but to speak to a studio of very innovative people.

The strap line on their website "Dreamers and Doers" I really like that and I'm certainly aiming to do exactly that too.

I am very thankful that I have a very supportive network of family and friends and my Mum who is always there when I need her and particularly when I need help with mobility, my very own chauffeur!

I live about 40 minutes from London by train and that's not too bad accept for those of us not used to life at such a fast pace, the traffic and crowds, not to mention I cannot see or hear properly and although I have my gorgeous Unis, she works best on regular routes and whilst she will always keep me safe I worry that she will be trodden on.

All that said I love a day in London and am passionate about making a difference however small to people living with Usher Syndrome and it means a lot to me that people learn about the condition and also about my charity and hopefully in one way or another support us.  

Good old Mum drove Unis and I most of the way and then we hopped into a taxi for the last part of the journey, for me it was much more relaxing that way, crowds avoided at all costs.

On arriving at the building it was old building and dark for me and the cobbled floor uneven so I had to concentrate, thankfully Unis was unsure so slowed down for me.  Mum found the old metal steps and led us to the studio door where we were met by Nanci and a couple of the team who were really welcoming and made sure we were comfy, I was impressed that Nanci pointed out the sloping floor and saved me the embarrassment of possibly falling over, something I do so well!

Mum and I enjoyed a relaxed chat with Ume about some very exciting projects that they are involved in.

Just hearing about these things really fills me with hope for the future as in my mind I know I will always rely on technology to enable me to access so much.

Deafblind doesn't just mean deaf, blind and Deafblind it means, mobility problems and isolation which can lead to anxiety and depression, I know because I've been there.

Feeling very uplifted having listened to Ume, it just seemed right to be cheeky and ask if his work could be extended to be accessible for the Deafblind - there are Bluetooth hearing aids available so as they say where there is a will there is a way.

The studio was awesome, on scanning it I found it to be retro and although the lighting was difficult for me in areas, I was well looked after and loved the bar area, very cool and the espresso martini, they insisted I tried was delicious.

The room filled up and I did my presentation followed by some questions, the bit which I really enjoy.

I felt very privileged to speak to this "Go Getter" audience who are  involved in developing software and very much into IT and even more delighted to be asked what sort of technology helps me and people like me with our every day challenges and very flattered to be asked if I would like to possibly be involved in testing things and even thinking of something "usher specific".

It was a real WOW for me and I will definitely be coming up with a few things so who knows, maybe a real "usher specific app" how awesome would that be?

My day had begun with me bringing Usher Awareness to this fantastic Organisation and having delivered my presentation I felt I had probably learnt more about the technology possibilities from UsTwo than I'd ever thought possible.

I am 20 years old and yes I "Dare to Dream" I dream that I will raise awareness of Usher Syndrome and make a small difference to people , that science might make a difference to people like me in the future and that technology WILL make a difference and after today I feel more confident of that.

So firstly to Charles, to Scott, Ume, Nanci and the whole team at UsTwo thank you for inviting me to speak and for listening to me but also thank you for giving me hope and one last thing when I come back, I really must try a few more cocktails!

    

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