Able Australia and DbI would like to thank the 17th Deafblind International World Conference speakers. 

ACCESSIBILITY - Tuesday 13 August

  • Isabel Amaral (keynote)

    Isabel Amaral (keynote)
    Consultant/Family Member

    Isabel Amaral is a retired Professor from the School of Health of the Polytechnics Institute of Setubal in Portugal. She is involved in projects related to developing quality services and training teachers for children with congenital deafblindness and multiple disabilities including visual impairments. She has been consulting for Perkins International in several projects.

  • Dr Namita Jacob

    Dr Namita Jacob
    Executive Director, Chetana Trust

    Dr Namita Jacob is Program Director, Chetana Trust, Chennai and Director, Enability, a nonprofit company developing assistive technology solutions responsive to the needs of the developing world. She is the Asia Pacific Region, Senior Education Specialist for Perkins International, Perkins School for the Blind, USA. She designs and develops services at the community level, within hospitals, schools and orphanages across Asia and the Middle East and helped establish some of the earliest comprehensive services for children with complex sensory impairment in India. Her work includes guiding research, creating teacher development programs and resources for individuals with disabilities, their families and professionals who serve them. 



  • Maria Aparecida Nina Cormedi

    Maria Aparecida Nina Cormedi
    Director, Comunicatividade.com

    She has been a clinical and educational speech therapist for 35 years with people with deafblindness and multiple disabilities. She is currently a consultant on inclusive education and alternative communication, working with people with complex communication needs and their families. She is the proprietary director of Comunicatividade.com, a platform that offers online courses in the areas of language, communication, learning and inclusion.

    She has been university professor in Brazil for 15 years and she is currently tutor of a specialization course on inclusive education and multiple disabilities in Argentina and Ecuador.

    She worked as Educational Consultant for Latin America and the Caribbean by Perkins International visiting deafblind services in different countries, such as: Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, Chile, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Bolivia.
    She was technical director of NGO in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for 15 years (2000-2014). She has worked closely with people, with deafblindness and multiple disabilities, their families and teacher training and collaborative teamwork as well as.

    She has Post PhD in Education, Art and Culture by Mackenzie Presbyterian University. PhD in Education by University of São Paulo. Master in Developmental Disorders. Specialization in Deafness and Visual Impairment. Proficiency in Cortical Visual Impairment- CVI Range. Special Education of Visually Handicapped and Multiply Handicapped Children and Youth, Perkins School for the Blind, USA. ELP.

    Member International Society for Augmentation / Alternative Communication - ISAAC. 

    She has published book chapters on alternative communication, multiple disabilities and deafblindness.

  • Christopher Woodfill

    Christopher Woodfill
    Associate Exectuive Director, Helen Keller National Center

    Chris is DeafBlind with Usher Syndrome type 1. He has worked at Helen Keller National Center for seven years and has been its Associate Executive Director for five. He is currently serving a second term as the North American region representative for the World Federation of the DeafBlind. He served on the board of American Association of the DeafBlind for almost a decade until last year. He is one of the administrators of the DeafBlind Thoughts, a Facebook group open to only the DeafBlind. Before working at Helen Keller National Center, he worked for thirteen years as a high school teacher at Wisconsin School for the Deaf. He also worked for three years as English as Second Language instructor at Gallaudet University. He holds a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the George Washington University and a Master degree in Bilingual-Bicultural Deaf Education from McDaniel College. Want to know more, feel free to ask Chris!

  • Dr Frances Gentle, AO

    Dr Frances Gentle, AO

    Dr Frances Gentle is President of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI); Co-President of the South Pacific Educators in Vision Impairment (SPEVI); and Executive Member of the World Blind Union. She is a lecturer with the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children’s Renwick Centre (Australia) and holds conjoint positions with Macquarie University and the University of Newcastle (Australia). Frances has worked as an educator and lecturer in the field of disability in Australia and internationally during the past three decades, with specialisation in sensory impairment.

COMMUNICATION - Wednesday 14 August

  • Jacqui Martin (keynote)

    Jacqui Martin (keynote)
    COO & Senior Consultant, Langley Group

    Jacqui Martin is a dynamic facilitator and consultant, with extensive experience across education, government and corporate clients.  She is an expert communicator and is passionate about building teams and capability through transforming the way people engage and connect in the workplace.

    Senior executive roles in government and higher education have equipped Jacqui with the experience and understanding necessary to work with complex, multi-layered, and sensitive organisations.  She connects quickly and easily with people and her previous experience as a teacher means she is an excellent communicator.

    As an Executive Director, Jacqui built high performing, results-driven teams, undertook complex functional restructures, and managed all aspects of executive requirements such as strategy, budget, human resources, risk and people development. Jacqui has also worked in project management in innovative service delivery, communications and marketing, as well as spearheading the development of new entities such as The Training Consortium for the Tasmanian Government.

    Jacqui has been recognised with awards for brand, engagement, and communications, initiatives.  She has a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education from the University of Tasmania, and has completed the Company Directors accreditation course. She is a past Member of the Committee of Management for the Change Management Institute of Australia (Victorian chapter), and past Deputy Chair and Board Member of Engagement Australia (for Universities and Community Engagement). Jacqui is also a master trainer in Strengths Profile and is accredited in MSCEIT and i4 Neuroleader.

  • Atsushi Mori

    Atsushi Mori
    Board Member, Tokyo Friendship Society of the Deafblind, International Cooperation Committee Member, Japan Deafblind Association

    My name is Atsushi Mori. I am deafblind since I was born. I am 27 years old. My communication methods are tactile sign language, Finger-Braille and Communication Board. Currently, I am studying in the graduate school of the Tsukuba University of Technology majoring Information and Communication Accessibility.

    When I was 3 years old, I started to go to the pre-school for children with hard-of-hearing. I started elementary school when I was 6 years old at the local school for the deaf, but moved to the National School for the Blind in Tokyo when I was 10 years old. I entered regular college when I was in 19 years old and graduate school since 25 years old.

    I would like to contribute to planning and building a secure and comfortable living environment for persons with deafblindness in Japan. 

  • Heather Lawson

    Heather Lawson
    Former President, Deafblind Australia & Member, Deafblind Victorians

    Heather Lawson has Usher Syndrome Type 1 and communicates through tactile Auslan and braille. She works as a voluntary deafblind advocate, mentor and trainer, and was employed by Able Australia on the Deafblind Orientation and Mobility Project as an expert adviser. Heather is one of the founding members of Deafblind Victoria a state based self-advocacy group. She has done as community educator to various fields over many years. Heather is currently the president of the Deafblind Australia.


  • Linda Hagood

    Linda Hagood
    Washington State School for the Blind

    Linda Hagood works as a speech language pathologist at Washington State School for the Blind and is a doctoral student in educational leadership attending Portland State University. Since obtaining her Master’s degree in Speech Communication in 1985 from the University of Texas at Austin, she has provided both direct and consultative services to support children and adolescents at schools for the blind, public schools, and in private practice. She has developed specialized skills in the areas of autism and visual impairment, and is pursuing research on interventions to support social communication with this population. Linda is the author of two communication guides for teachers of students with visual and multiple impairments, both published through Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. She frequently presents her work at professional conferences nationally and internationally, and teaches an online course for Perkins School for the Blind on the topic of autism and visual impairment.  

TECHNOLOGY - Thursday 15 August

  • Wayne Hawkins

    Wayne Hawkins
    Disability Policy Advisor, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

    Wayne Hawkins is Director of Inclusion with the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).joined ACCAN in 2010 as Disability Policy Advisor, and has led ACCAN’s work on telecommunications access for consumers with disability, telecommunications affordability and emergency services.  Prior to joining ACCAN Wayne was National Policy officer with Blind Citizens Australia. Wayne is a doctoral candidate at Sydney University researching Australian telecommunications and disability policies. Wayne has a Master in Public Policy from Sydney University and a Bachelors of Business Administration from City University of New York. Wayne has been blind since 2005 as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa.

  • Greg Alchin

    Greg Alchin
    Inclusive Design Consultant, All Equal

    Greg Alchin is an award-winning inclusive design consultant, author, educator and speaker with over 30 years’ experience across education, community, commercial and government contexts. This rich and diverse experience enables Greg to translate and apply invaluable insights from one context to another. Greg’s own visual impairment as well as his industry certification by Apple, Microsoft and the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, combined with his post graduate studies in accessibility, enable Greg to speak with authenticity and authority. Greg’s recent work has seen him collaborate with the United Nations, Centre for Inclusive Design, Assistive Technology Industry Association, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, Royal Society for the Blind, Audit Office of NSW, Australian Publishing Association, as well as educational institutions across Australia.


  • Anindya Bhattacharyya

    Anindya Bhattacharyya
    Bapin Group

    I am totally DeafBlind and currently work as the coordinator of the National Outreach Technology Development and Training Program at the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) based in NY, but have a branch office in California. My responsibilities involve 1) training consumers and technology trainers from all over the nation who have a wide range of vision and hearing loss to use computers via braille access, screen magnification, and speech output, 2) evaluating and beta testing various Windows- and Mac OS X-based applications, prototypes of new products, and telecommunications equipment and services for people with access needs, and 3) communicating with key people involved with designing and manufacturing these products to ensure they are accessible, user-friendly, and cost-efficient.

    I am also in charge of the Florida and Iowa DeafBlind equipment distribution programs and travel back and forth between these states every 2-3 months to provide technology assessments, distribute equipment, and training to all eligible consumers. In addition, I am responsible for researching, purchasing equipment, and installing and configuring equipment prior to distribution.

    On the side, I run a digital online store business and am the chief executive officer of the company, Bapin Group, LLC. The company sells all digital products to customers with all kinds of backgrounds, as well as to educational and government establishments. For details, go to the website at www.bapingroup.com and my personal website is www.bapin.info. I also founded the first-known International DeafBlind Expo to serve as a venue for DeafBlind attendees to touch and feel various products and have access to interacting with vendors. Also, many professionals, government officials, educators, business people, etc. are enriched by the experience of interacting with DeafBlind people and learning more about products and services they rely on in their daily life. Two expos took place – Las Vegas in 2014 and Orlando in 2016.

    I am a member of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) to make contributions and monitor legislative activities that improve accessibility for people with disabilities including DeafBlindness. In 2010 I, along with a representative from American Association of the DeafBlind (AADB), met with several members of Congress to push the passage of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act where 10 million dollars was designated for DeafBlind people to receive telecommunications equipment and services. I also served on the 2010-2014 Equipment Program Advisory Committee (EPAC) under Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP) in California to ensure that DeafBlind Californians receive adequate telecommunications equipment and services.

WFDB (World Federation of Deafblind) Global Report on Deafblindness Session Speakers

  • Alison Marshall

    Alison Marshall
    Director, Sense International

    Alison Marshall is Director of Sense International which works to empower people with deafblindness in East Africa, South Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Previously, she was Director for Advocacy, Accountability and Campaigns at the International Planned Parenthood Federation leading work to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality globally. She also worked at UNICEF UK, BOND, and CAFOD and helped lead campaigns such as ‘Make Poverty History’. She holds Masters degrees in Human Rights, Geography, Rural Development and NGO Management. She is a member of the FairTrade Foundation Board and the BBC Charity Appeals Advisory Committee.

  • Geir Jensen

    Geir Jensen
    President, WFDB (World Federation of Deafblind)

    A 75-year-old deafblind Norwegian, holding a Cand. Mag. degree in Law and current President of the WFDB; 59 years of national disability advocacy; 23 years of international deafblind advocacy; 13 years in the WFDB with 5 years as President. 6 years as IDA board member. A football and Chess enthusiast.

Oral presenters

  • A/Prof Agneta Anderzén Carlsson

    A/Prof Agneta Anderzén Carlsson
    Research Supervisor, University Health Care Research Center, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Orebro University

    Agneta Anderzen Carlsson is a pediatric nurse and Associate professor. She has been involved in research within the area of deafblindness since 2013, and is especially interested in psychosocial research, such as the situation for families where one parent has deablindness.

  • A/Prof Bamini Gopinath - Profile Image Coming Soon

    A/Prof Bamini Gopinath

    A/Prof Bamini Gopinath
    Principal Research Fellow, Westmead Institute

    Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath is a Principal Research Fellow in Sensory Loss Epidemiology based at the Westmead Institute and Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Studies at the Kolling Institute. She is an NHRMC TRIP Fellow and an epidemiologist who uses large population datasets, to provide novel community-based evidence on the health determinants and health outcomes associated with sight-threatening eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye diseases.

  • A/Prof Kirsten Costain

    A/Prof Kirsten Costain
    Senior Advisor, Unit for Combined Visual and Hearing Loss and Deafblindness

    I hold an Honours degree in English literature and a Phd in Health Psychology (by Research) from the University of Leeds, UK. I have published a number of articles and a book in the areas of palliative medicine, quality of life and chronic illness, and research methodology. Since 2011 I have wroked as a senior advisor within the field of congenital deafblindness and am currently working on several written contributions to this field as well as clinical work with children with CDB.

  • A/Prof Kirsten Tornøe

    A/Prof Kirsten Tornøe
    Lovisenberg Diaconal University College

    Associate Professor in Nursing at Lovisenberg Diaconal University College since 2017. PHD in Spiritual Care in Nursing (2017), MF School of Theology, dept. of Psychology of Religion Nurse Lecturer at Lovisenberg Diaconal University College since 1997 - 2017 Pedagogical nursing education 1999 Deacon in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway, engaged in parish and social work (1995-97) Masters degree in Theology 1994 RN in cancer wards and nursing homes from 1987 - 1995 Graduated as a registered nurse (RN) since 1987

  • Alyssa Young

    Alyssa Young
    DeafBlind Ontario Services

    As Director of Human Resources, Alyssa leads strategic human resources initiatives related to recruitment, retention, payroll, benefits, employee relations and other human resources functions of DeafBlind Ontario Services. DeafBlind Ontario Services is a not-for-profit organization that helps individuals who are deafblind to increase their independence and improve their quality of life through specialized services. Alyssa has been with DeafBlind Ontario Services since 2013. Prior to this, Alyssa worked in the HR field in the public relations and financial industries.

    Alyssa holds a post graduate certificate in Human Resources Management from Seneca College and two designations: Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) and Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP). She is involved with the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) and is a member of the exam validation committee. Alyssa also sits on the Best Practices in Human Resources Sub-Committee of the Intervenor Services Human Resource Strategy (ISHRS). In addition, she has presented at an international conference in Boston.

  • Amy Di Nino

    Amy Di Nino
    ADD Music Wellness

    Amy has degrees and diplomas from University of Windsor, University of Toronto, and Humber College, and recently completed her Masters of Music Therapy at Berklee College of Music in Boston. She is the leading lady of ADD Music Wellness, a psychotherapy and music therapy clinical practice serving clients throughout southern Ontario. Previously, Amy provided music therapy at the world renowned W. Ross Macdonald School for the Visually Impaired, Blind, & Deafblind, where she was the recipient of the 2012 Premier’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Ontario.

    Amy is the drummer of the R&B/Blues band 'Cootes Paradise' and she is the conductor/artistic director of the Grand River Voices, a 80+ voice community choir based out of Kitchener, ON. Amy is also the music director and organist at Sydenham Heritage United Church in Brantford, and holds the position of Principal Percussionist with the Guelph Symphony Orchestra. Amy is endorsed by Murat Diril cymbals and Headhunter drumsticks.

  • Annica Boström

    Annica Boström
    Adviser, The National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools

    Annica has worked since 2007 at the Swedish National resource center for deafblind, mainly with supervison, education and making assessment for children of congenital deafblindness.

    Before that she worked as a special educator with deaf and hearing-impaired children and students. During the past four years, much of the work has been aimed at developing special education investments to give children and students with deafblindness an accessible learning environment that favors their development.

  • Annika Maria Johannessen

    Annika Maria Johannessen
    Senior adviser, Statped

    Senior adviser (Cand. Ed and MsC in communication and congenital deafblindness) in Department of Dual Visual and Hearing Impairment and Deafblindness -Statped Norway

  • Anuradha Mungi

    Anuradha Mungi
    Perkins India

    Anuradha Mungi, has been an Education Specialist with Perkins India since 2014. She has been in the field of Deafblindness /MDVI for more than 18 years. 

    As a part of her work, she provides technical support to partner organizations which includes functional assessments for children with Db/ MDVI , guidance to educators, community-based rehabilitation (CBR) workers and families and need based training to educators, CBR workers and families. She also provides consultations and trainings for government and NGO professionals.

    She recently co-authored a unit on deafblindness for an online course through Avinashilingam University and has previously worked for Sense International, India and Helen Keller Institute for Deaf & Deafblind. Past roles include teacher, social worker, field supervisor, training manager and guest faculty member at the National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped (NIMH), Regional Centre, Mumbai. 

    Anuradha has done her master’s in social work, with a specialization in rural and urban community development, from Indore School of Social Work. She has also done  a diploma in special education (deafblindness) from Helen Keller Institute for Deaf & Deafblind –Mumbai (India) .

    She is a recipient of  the “Vocational Excellence Award” by The Rotary Club of Navi Mumbai industrial Area ( Navi Mumbai – India) in March 2009.


  • Arancha Arregui Gómez

    Arancha Arregui Gómez
    Teacher, ONCE

    I have a Bachelor's degree in Special Education Teaching and a Bachelor´s degree in Speech Therapy. 25 years working for ONCE as a teacher of students with deafblindness. Broad experience in developing communication and language in congenitally deafblind children. Large experience in intervention with children that develop disruptive behaviors as a result of a lack of communication strategies. I have been conducting family support plans to give them tools for their daily lives and to improve the communication with their children.

  • Berit Rönnåsen

    Berit Rönnåsen
    National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools

    Berit has worked since the fall of 1981 at the Swedish National resource center for deafblind mainly with supervison, education and making assessment for children, adolescents and adults of congenital deafblindness. In the school environment, she has met and made efforts for the group of students with aquired deafblindness. Providing support and sharing knowledge with families when a family member have deafblindness has been a natural and big part of her professional work. Berit finished her graduate studies 2015 with a thesis on the Alstrom syndrome and aspects of their opportunities for learning.

  • Carleeta Manser

    Carleeta Manser

    Carleeta is a self-advocate and braille teacher and lives with deafblindness.  As a deaf adult, she worked in many roles until forced into retirement because of vision loss. She volunteered in the community, enjoyed sport and travel.

    Carleeta established the NSW Ushers group in 1995 and has been a Board member of the Australia Deafblind Council on three occasions.

    She currently represents the deafblind community in the roll out of the National Disability Insurance and is recognised as a "Top Champion" for the "Every Australian Counts" campaign.

    In 2018, Carleeta presented at the Helen Keller World Conference in Spain.

  • Caroline Lindstrom

    Caroline Lindstrom
    Special Educator, Mo Gard

    Caroline works as a specialist at Mo Gard in Sweden. She has her belonging in a professional development team, a multidisciplinary group of specialists supporting Mo Gård’s organisation with knowledge, coaching and education. She has worked within the field of congenital deafblindness for 20 years, first as an assistant and for the recent ten years as an adviser to others. She has a teacher degree, a MSc in special needs education and a MSc in Pedagogical Science: Communication and deafblindness.

  • Cathy Proll - Profile Image Coming Soon

    Cathy Proll

    Cathy Proll
    Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Deafblind Association Ontario

    Cathy Proll is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Deafblind Association Ontario Chapter. Cathy has been involved in the development and provision of services to people who are deafblind since the early 80s. Additionally Cathy is currently the Chair of the Deafblind Network of Ontario and has held many leadership roles within the Deafblind Sector in Ontario. These roles have included working closely with government in the transformation of intervenor services. Cathy was also part of the team that developed the deafblind supplement for the Inter-Rai Assessment.

    Cathy has always had a passion for the education and training of intervenors and for the past 2 years she has lead of team of professionals in the development of technical competencies for intervenors working with adults who are deafblind. Currently Cathy is involved in a project with a team to develop an electronic single point of access system for people who are deafblind to access Intervenor services in Ontario. On an International level Cathy is a Board Member of Deafblind International and has had the opportunity to present at conferences on the International, National and Provincial level.

  • Catrin Andersson

    Catrin Andersson
    Adviser, The National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools

    Catrin is an Adviser in special needs education, and is specialized in congenital deafblindness. Since 1991, she has worked pedagogically with children and students with deafblindness and hearing difficulties. Currently she works at the SPSM resource center for children with deafblindness, with conducting special educational assessment for these children, and tutorial and education for teachers. In recent years, she has been in charge of developing the agency’s use of Information and Communication Technology. These technological tools are significant in enhancing language and knowledge development for children with deafblindness.

  • Chevonne Sutter

    Chevonne Sutter
    Lecturer, University of Nevada, Reno

    Chevonne Sutter has been working in the field of education since 2000. She holds teaching licenses in California and Nevada, and has experience teaching both special and general education. She earned a Master’s degree in education with an emphasis in severe disabilities from the University of Nevada, Reno, and is now a doctoral student in education working toward board certification in behavior analysis. Her research interests include identification of evidence-based practices and increasing teacher effectiveness. Chevonne currently works for the Nevada Dual Sensory Impairment Project and as a lecturer in special education at the University of Nevada, Reno.

  • Cindy Niekerk

    Cindy Niekerk

    I have 14 years of experience in guiding people with deafblindness. Since 2 years I also coach caregivers through video interaction guidance. Last year I started as program manager of "Feel the circus". In which we make circus theater together with people with congenital deafblindness.

  • Claude Vincent

    Claude Vincent
    Universite Laval

    Claude Vincent has been a full professor in the occupational therapy program at Laval University since 1997, and a regular researcher at CIRRIS, in Quebec city, Canada. She has a doctorate in public health. Her teaching interests include community intervention, technical aids and cross-sector approaches to social integration and home support. Her research interests are the usability and evaluation of new technologies and service dogs for the purposes of autonomy and independence for people with motor, sensory or cognitive impairment.

  • Daniel Prause

    Daniel Prause
    PhD Student, Signo Conrad Svendsen Center / Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society

    Daniel Prause is a doctoral student at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion & Society and Signo Conrad Svendsen Centre (assisted living and rehabilitation for persons with deafness and deafblindness) in Oslo, Norway. He is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Geriatric Nursing Care and has worked in the field of deafblindness since 2005. Currently Daniel works on his doctoral thesis focusing on spiritual and existential care to elderly persons with acquired deafblindness.

  • David Hamilton

    David Hamilton
    Canadian DeafBlind Association

    My name is David Hamilton, I am an Intervention Services Coordinator with Canadian DeafBlind Association, with five years experience as an intervenor previously. My focus has been on developing genuine community integration and involvement for people who are deafblind.

  • Dede Supriyanto

    Dede Supriyanto
    Teacher Trainer, Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture - Center of Development and Empowerment of Tachers and Other Educational Personnel

    Dede Supriyanto a teacher trainer in P4TK TK PLB Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture. He graduated from Flinders University Australia. He is an alumni of Perkins International Educational Leadership Program (ELP) 2018. His work including developing program model for children with multiple disabilities with visual impairment in Special Schools, parent’s workshop and individual mentoring to the teachers across Indonesia.   

  • Dennis Adrian Witcombe

    Dennis Adrian Witcombe
    Able Australia

    I am a 2010 recipient of the Winston Churchill Fellowship. As part of my fellowship I travelled to Helsinki and Seattle to research Deafblind communication. I was awarded the 2008, 2011 and 2012 Victorian Deafblind interpreter of the year. I studied the Auslan/English interpreting course at Macquarie University in Sydney and qualified in 2013 I received NAATI accreditation as Professional Interpreter level 2013 from Macquarie University. I have worked at Able Australia for 11 years.

  • Dr Andrew Arch

    Dr Andrew Arch

    Dr Andrew Arch is a senior digital accessibility consultant with Intopia working with the government and corporate sector to make digital services more accessible for people with disability. From 2015 to mid-2017 he worked in the Digital Transformation Agency on the Digital Service Standard and supporting guidance with a interest in ensuring the widest range of users are assisted to interact digitally. From 2011 to 2014 he was part of the team in the Dept of Finance responsible for the supporting the implementation of the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy for the Australian government to adopt WCAG 2.0. Andrew has a long history with web accessibility, including working with the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative in Europe and with Vision Australia. He has been a member of the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative’s Education and Outreach Working Group since 2001 to promote awareness, understanding, and implementation of web accessibility.

  • Dr Annmaree Watharow

    Dr Annmaree Watharow
    University of Technology, Sydney

    Dr Annmaree Watharow is a PhD candidate at the University of Technology, Sydney, researching the hospital experiences of people who are deafblind or have dual sensory impairments. It wasn’t until Annmaree’s final year of medicine that she was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome. Annmaree went on to be a General Practitioner, returning to university to complete a masters in psychological medicine, to enable her to move into clinical mental health as a GP-therapist. In addition to her PhD inquiry into hospital experiences, Annmaree is interested in improving access at university for people with sensory impairments. She has also developed and trialed a communication tool to aid identification and recognition of people with sensory impairments. 

  • Dr Christopher Brum

    Dr Christopher Brum
    San Diego State University


    Dr. Brum received his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with focus on Special Education and Deafblindness from Boston College. His areas of interest include deafblindness, low-incidence disabilities, autism, literacy instruction and communication development. Currently, Dr. Brum is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at San Diego State University. In addition to his teaching and research, he also serves as a Site Coordinator and Literacy Coach for the Center on Secondary Education for Secondary Students with Autism (CSESA) in San Diego, CA. 

  • Dr Jude Nicholas

    Dr Jude Nicholas
    Clinical Neuropsychologist, Statped Norway

    Jude Nicholas (PsyD) is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist and is employed at Statped vest center for deafblindness and at Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway. Dr. Nicholas has some 25 years of clinical and research experience working with children and adults with sensory impairment. He has a longstanding interest in genetical syndromes and neurological conditions involving sensory impairments and cognitive functions. He is author of several articles and book chapters on these topics. His current research investigates the neuropsychological functions of tactile cognitions, particularly in persons with deafblindness.

  • Dr Michelle Schmidt

    Dr Michelle Schmidt
    Director of Instruction, Surrey School District

    Dr Michelle Schmidt has been involved in private and public education for more than 30 years, as a preschool supervisor, educational assistant (Hutterite Colony), teacher, school psychologist, adult educator, and school-based administrator. Presently, Michelle is Director of Instruction (Student Support) in the Surrey School District. Throughout her career, Michelle has been involved in many initiatives geared toward meeting the needs of children and youth who have complex needs. Michelle has been on numerous conference planning committees, and has presented at several conferences in a variety of areas including school refusal, inter-disciplinary collaboration, health and well-being of people with developmental disabilities, and deafblindness.

    Michelle is a member of the British Columbia Council of Administrators for Special Education, the Council for Exceptional Children, Deafblind International, the Surrey School District Applied Behaviour Analysis Advisory Committee, the Online Mental Health and Autism Expert Advisory Committee, and the British Columbia School Superintendents Association. Michelle was recipient of the Canadian Association of Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocate Award in 2017, and an award entitled, Recognizing Students who Persevere with Empathy and Compassion, was created in Michelle's honour in 2013. Michelle is a passionate advocate for all children, youth, and their families. When Michelle is not working, she enjoys gardening, traveling, and photography.

  • Dr Moa Wahlqvist

    Dr Moa Wahlqvist
    Swedish National Resource Center for Deafblindness, Audiological Research Center, Orebro University Hospital, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Orebro University

    Moa Wahlqvist works at the National Resource Center for deafblindness in Sweden as a coordinator of questions concerning reserach and knowledge development. She also has a position at the Audiological Research Center at the University hospital in Orebro, Sweden. Her professional background is within the area of social work. Moa's research interests concerns health and wellbeing for people with deafblindness and her main focus has been on people with Usher syndrome. She is involved in research concerning families where one parent has deafblindness, elderly with severe combined hearing and vision impairment, as well as health and work for people with Usher syndrome. She is also involved in research concerning rehabilitation and support for people with deafblindness in a life course perspective. Further interests are to be found within the area of knowledge transfer from research to practice and vice versa.

  • Dr Nobuyuki Takahashi

    Dr Nobuyuki Takahashi
    Japan Federation of the Deafblind

    Dr. Nobuyuki Takahashi is the president of Japan Federation of Deafblind. People call him “Tarzan”. He was born in 1961, living in Japan. Disability has progressed since about 15 years old, and now he is almost blind - hard hearing.  He is a teacher of the Matsuyama School for the Blind and a part time instructor of St. Catherine University. He got a doctor degree in 2015, Information processing engineering specialty.

  • Dr Saskia Damen

    Dr Saskia Damen
    Assistant Professor, University of Groningen

    Saskia Damen works as an assistant professor special needs education/deafblindness at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She also works as a senior researcher at Royal Dutch Kentalis and is a core project member of the National Resource Center Deafblindness in the Netherlands. She has over 20 years of work experience in the field of multiple disabilities and deafblindness and has published several articles, books and book chapters. 

  • Emily Walters

    Emily Walters
    Able Australia

    Emily Walters is a registered Creative Arts Therapist and coordinates the Able Art program through Able Australia. Emily works with individuals and groups, including people who are Deafblind and people who experience complex disability. Practicing a humanistic approach, Emily supports her clients to creatively explore and understand their sense of self and improve their well-being. Emily chairs the Creative Arts Network of Deafblind International, connecting art, music, dance and drama workers and therapists who work with Deafblind people worldwide.

  • Emma Boswell

    Emma Boswell
    National Usher Co-ordinator, Sense UK

    Emma Boswell has worked for the charity Sense for the past eight years and her current role is National Usher Co-ordinator where she is responsible for the Usher service team. She has delivered many presentations and training sessions. She has a Deafblind Diploma and is Chair of the International User Network at Deafblind International. She has Usher syndrome type 1 and is a bilateral cochlear implant (CI) user. She is married with two young children. In her voluntary work she is Chair of the Deaf Cancer Support Group.

  • Eric van Heuvelen

    Eric van Heuvelen

    I am working at Bartimieus for more then 30 years and one of my main activities is participating in the so called Bartimeus Fablab. This FabLab is a Fabrication Laboratory for research and development of technology and ICT solutions to provide e-inclusion, independence, self reliance and autonomy for the multiple (visual) disabled. I am educated and trained in Elctronica and computer engineering and I have also worked for many years as a nurse. This combination ensures a good balance between understanding the client's guiding questions and translating and realising a technological solution.

  • Graciela Ferioli

    Graciela Ferioli

    Graciela Ferioli is a former professor of special education management at the Catholic University of Cordoba, Argentina.
    After studying at Perkins School for the Blind in the early 1980s, Graciela Ferioli became one of the first teachers from Argentina to specialize in deafblind education.

    Since 1990, Ferioli has worked as Perkins International’s regional representative for Latin America and the Caribbean. In that time, she has overseen unprecedented improvements in the quantity and quality of special education programs in the region.
    This approach propelled her into her life mission: creating awareness and sharing knowledge and skills with parents, professionals, NGOs, universities and governments throughout Latin America.

  • Hans-Erik Frölander

    Hans-Erik Frölander
    Psychologist, The National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools in Sweden

    Hans-Erik has a background at a national center for children and pupils with Congenital or Acquired deafblindness. He is mainly responsible for psychological assessment but also involved in supervision of staff as well as lecturing. Hans-Erik is further affiliated to the Audiological Research-center at the Örebro University-hospital, the Health Academy at Örebro University, and the Swedish Institute for Disability Research.

  • Holly Floyd

    Holly Floyd
    Canadian DeafBlind Association

    Holly been employed by CDBA Ontario for nearly 15 years, including the last three in the role of Training Coordinator. Prior to becoming a Training Coordinator, she served as an Intervenor and Special Projects Intervenor, coordinating recreational, educational and social activities for individuals in our services. Holly graduated from the Social Services field and continued her education and professional development through courses in the George Brown College Intervenor for Deafblind Persons program. She attended the Deafblind International Conference in Denmark in 2017 and currently completing a Signing Exact English (SEE) Course with the SEE Center in California. Holly is also currently enrolled in the certificate program for Teaching and Training Adults. She serves as an instructor for CDBA Ontario's online courses and have provided consulting services to organizations outside of the sector for the past 2 years.

  • Inger Marie Storaas

    Inger Marie Storaas

    Inger Marie Storaas worked as a consultant for persons with acquired deafblindness with different etiology among these PHARC and Usher. Inger has been working in this field for 9 years in Norway.

  • Jessica Jägryd

    Jessica Jägryd
    Adviser, The National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools

    Jessica has worked several years with tactile language and congenital deafblindness. In 2007 she started working as a teacher at a new school for students from the age of six year with congenital deafblindness.

    She soon became interested in how to develop tactile communication with several individuals involved - multi-party communication. Together with her colleguage, Sofi Malmgren, she saw opportunities with multi-party communication as a way to approach conversations about emotions and sexuality. Her interest in the subject inspired her to write a master's thesis about sexuality and identity for people with congenital deafblindness (the master thesis is only available in Swedish).

    During the recent years, Jessica has worked as National Advisors at National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools, where she has the opportunity to spread these skills further in Sweden.

  • Karen Wickham

    Karen Wickham
    Senses Australia

    Karen Wickham is a Deafblind Consultant and Senior Social Worker in Disability Professional Services at Senses Australia.

  • Kirsten Wolthuis

    Kirsten Wolthuis
    University of Groningen

    I am a PhD candidate at the university of Groningen. My research is about intersubjective communication development of students and adults with congenital deafblindness.

  • Lara Gontijo de Castro Souza

    Lara Gontijo de Castro Souza
    Brazilian Association of the Deafblind (ABRASC) and National Federation of Education and Integration of the Deaf (FENEIS)

    Person with deafblindness acquired (Usher Syndrome, type 1), representative of Brazilian Association of the Deafblind (ABRASC), social educator of National Federation of Education and Integration of the Deaf (FENEIS), counselor of Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, member of Human Rights Education Committee, member of Brazil Group for Supporting the Deafblind and the Multiple Sensitive Disabled, specialist in Sign Language and graduated (bachelor) in Information Systems from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (2014).

  • Lieke van Buuren

    Lieke van Buuren
    Teacher, Royal Dutch Kentalis

    Lieke van Buuren is a teacher at school Rafaël, Royal Dutch Kentalis. She has more than over 30 years of experience working with children with congenital deafblindness.

  • Line Hovland

    Line Hovland
    Eikholt National Resource Centre for the Deafblind

    Line Hovland work as a low vision therapist and O&M-teacher at Eikholt National Resource Centre for the Deafblind. In the work with her Master Thesis she has carried out inteviews of persons with deafblindness and how it is to live with Chales Bonnet Syndrome.

  • Lone Rømer Jensen

    Lone Rømer Jensen
    Pedagogue, Center for Deafblind and Hearingloss

    Lone is working at Centre for Deafblindness and Hearing Loss in Aalborg, Denmark. Here she has been working with both youth and adults with deafblindness as a Pedagogue since 2003. In 2017 she completed a Diploma Program in Psychology at University College. Lone has a special interest in applying neuropsychology knowledge and theories into the practice-oriented field of deafblindness. Lone’s daily practice comprise day-to-day pedagogic work in combination with coordination-, facilitation- and communication activities across staff groups. 

  • Lorraine Simpson

    Lorraine Simpson
    DeafBlind Ontario Services

    As Director of Residential Services, Lorraine oversees the residential programs and service related training at DeafBlind Ontario Services. Lorraine has been with DeafBlind Ontario Services for over 25 years in various positions, including intervenor, Lead Hand, Program Coordinator, Manager of Regional Operations, Assistant Director of Residential Services and currently as Director of Residential Services. Lorraine's passion for exceptional client services has been highlighted in navigating the mental health system for people supported, health & safety, and the development of a guide for palliative care for individuals who are deafblind. Lorraine holds a certificate in Activation in Gerontology and is a Certified Congenital Deafblind Specialist, Level 2. In addition, she has presented at two international conferences.

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    Ly Ly Lim

    Ly Ly Lim
    University of Technology Sydney

    Ly Ly Lim is a former Australian diplomat and public servant and currently a PhD candidate. Her research focuses on Australian multiculturalism with respect to social inclusion, human rights and democratic participation.

  • Mads Kopperholdt

    Mads Kopperholdt
    Teacher, Center for Deafblind and Hearingloss

    My name is Mads Kopperholdt.

    I have been working as a teacher at Center for Deafblindness and Hearingloss, Aalborg, Denmark since 2003. In the last 10 years my field of interest is APA (Adapted Physical Activity), and how you can get deafblind students to communicate with each other instead of communicating through a teacher. My colleague Anders Rundh and I have from 2008 – 2016 had an APA project and through some great results APA is now a subject in our school.


  • Maede Martha Mueller

    Maede Martha Mueller
    SNAB Swiss National Association of and for the Blind

    1970* Since 2007 Rehabilitation teacher for deafblind people with Swiss Federal Certificate in Orientation & Mobility and Low Vision Languages: German, English, French, Sign Language

  • Maria Creutz

    Maria Creutz
    Senior Advisor, Nordic Welfare Center

    Maria works as a senior adviser at Nordic Welfare Center with responsibility for Deafblind Issues. One of NWC:s main tasks is to spread knowledge by arranging courses and seminars, coordinating knowledge development networks and projects as well as issuing publications.

  • Maria Elena Nassif

    Maria Elena Nassif
    Research Program, Catholic University of Cordoba Argentina

    María Elena Nassif is a teacher of blind students and has a degree in Management of Special Education. She is part of the research team at the Catholic University in Córdoba, Argentina.

    She has worked since 1998 as a teacher at the Helen Keller Institute in Córdoba; with children and young people with multiple disabilities, carrying out educational proposals that seek the formation of autonomous and independent citizens.

    She also teaches at the Special Education Teachers at the Provincial University of Córdoba, training future professionals. Between 2012 and May 2019 she worked as a Consultant and Coordinator of the training program for Latin America and the Caribbean of Perkins International, at Perkins School for the Blind, USA, developing virtual courses where family and professionals from the countries of the region participated.

  • Mark Campano

    Mark Campano
    Statewide Coordinator, Delaware Statewide Programs

    Mr. Mark Campano is currently the Statewide Coordinator of the Delaware Program for Children with Deaf-Blindness. Since 1996 he has served children with Deaf-Blindness in five different states in a variety of roles such as Technical Assistance Specialist, Project Director, and now as the State Coordinator. Prior to working in the field of Deaf-Blindness, Mr. Campano worked with Deaf Adolescents who were Emotional Challenged in a 24/7 therapeutic milieu as classroom support, teacher, residential adviser and supervisor. His education includes a B.A. in Psychology/Sociology and a M.Ed. in Severe Intensive Special needs k-12 certified in Deaf-Blindness.

  • Marta Zaharia

    Marta Zaharia
    Canadian Helen Keller Centre

    Marta Zaharia is a 1991 graduate of the George Brown College Deafblind Intervenor Program, marking her as one of the first ever graduates from this unique program. She has been working in the Deafblind Intervenor Services sector for the past 26 years. Over the years Marta has been extremely dedicated to the field, striving for better consumer services. She started her career as an intervenor, working her way up to her current role as the Seniors Coordinator at the Canadian Helen Keller Centre (CHKC). After taking this role on, Marta has flourished in expanding access for seniors with dual sensory loss, including an increase in available programming and the highest quality of intervenor services for CHKC's senior consumers. Marta is also an advocate for intervenors and the professionalization of their role in the province of Ontario, most notably so as the former president of the Intervenor Organization of Ontario (IOO). As a part of the IOO and Marta's outstanding work, she became one of the founding board members of the Deafblind Network of Ontario (DBNO). During the past two decades Marta has become a well-respected name in Ontario and the field of deafblindness, and was asked to become an integral part of the Intervenor Program's education team; Marta is currently a placement supervisor, she oversees, trains, and educates intervenor students as they complete their in-field practicums.

  • MaryAnn Demchak

    MaryAnn Demchak
    University of Nevada, Reno

    MaryAnn Demchak, Ph.D., BCBA-D is a Professor of Special Education at the University of Nevada, Reno where she teaches courses in the area of severe disabilities. For nearly 30 years she has been the director of the Nevada Dual Sensory Impairment Project (NDSIP) and provides extensive training and technical assistance to families and service providers of children who have impairments in both vision and hearing. Dr. Demchak is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

  • Melanie Gauthier

    Melanie Gauthier
    Provincial Programs Manager, Canadian Helen Keller Center

    As the Provincial Programs Manager at Canadian Helen Keller Training Centre, Melanie is deeply involved in the deafblind community in Ontario. Melanie started her career in deafblindness 19 years ago working as an intervenor at Rotary Cheshire Homes and has since held many positions within the deafblind community. Some highlights include: Treasurer and Program Director for the Deaf-Blind Association of Toronto, JuneFest planning committee member and member of the ROM Adversity and Inclusion Committee. Melanie is also an Assessor for MCSS Intervenor Services and part-time college faculty at George Brown College in the Intervenor for Deafblind Persons Program, as a Field Seminar and Field Placement Supervisor.

  • Melissa Evans

    Melissa Evans
    Deafblind Consultant, Senses Australia

    Melissa Evans is a Deafblind Consultant and Senior Physiotherapist (Sensory Services Team) who has worked for Senses Australia since 2007 – currently delivering services to the South-Western corner of Western Australia.

  • Meredith Bartlett

    Meredith Bartlett
    Monash University

    Meredith’s first contact with the Deaf community was as a teacher of the Deaf until she moved into interpreting. As an experienced Auslan interpreter Meredith has worked extensively interpreting with Deafblind people who use tactile Auslan. She is now a researcher at Monash University in Melbourne, and part of the team using Conversation Analysis to investigate how a visual language changes and new conventions develop as it becomes tactile or communication by touch. The aim is to produce research that will assist training for interpreters, case managers and communication guides who work with Deafblind people into the future.

  • Meredith Prain

    Meredith Prain
    Able Australia

    Dr Meredith Prain has worked with people with deafblindness for over 20 years as a speech pathologists, project coordinator and researcher.

  • Mirko Baur

    Mirko Baur
    General Manager, Swiss Foundation for People with Congenital Deafblindness

    Mirko Baur has studied special education and is the general manager of Tanne, the Swiss Foundation for People with Congenital Deafblindness. He has been intensively engaged in various forms of self-expression and its interaction with identity, emotion, cognition, well-being, communication and community for years. Another central topic is the search for suitable spatial contexts and thus the interface between architecture, landscape design and special education.

  • Prof Walter Wittich

    Prof Walter Wittich
    Assistant Professor, School of Optometry, University of Montreal, Adjunct Professor, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University

    Dr Walter Wittich is an Assistant Professor at the School of Optometry at the University of Montreal, Canada, with a Junior Career Award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (chercheur boursier junior 1), with focus on the rehabilitation of older adults with combined vision and hearing loss. He is resident researcher at both the CRIR/Centre de réadaptation MAB-Mackay du CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal and the CRIR/Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille du CISSS de la Montérégie-Centre. Coming from a background in age-related vision loss, he now conducts research in dual sensory impairment and acquired deaf-blindness. His research domains include basic sensory science, as well as medical, psychosocial, and rehabilitation approaches to sensory loss.

    Internationally, he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and he is the inaugural chair of the Deafblind International Research Network, leading a team of over 100 members from four continents in their efforts to facilitate networking and knowledge translation in deafblindness research. Recently, he received the Envision Low Vision Research Award in the US for his seminal contribution to the field of low vision rehabilitation research, and he serves as chair or member of scientific committees in various national and international conferences including ARVO, Deafblind International, the International Society for Low Vision Rehabilitation Research, and Envision Conference.

    He has published 87 peer-reviewed journal article, book chapters and proceedings papers, primarily on the topics of visual impairment, low vision, and dual sensory impairment, and bringing much needed visibility to this domain. His research is funded by provincial, national and international sources, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Alzheimer Society, the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration on Aging, as well as industry collaborators in the field of assistive technology.

  • Reflino Fernandes

    Reflino Fernandes
    Programme Manager, Sense International India

    Reflino Fernandes completed his Masters in Social Work from Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai in 2012. Since then he has been working in the development sector, in particular, with persons with deafblindness for over 6 years in various capacities at the grass route. He worked with Caritas Goa, a partner organization of Sense International India in the Western region of India, to help set up and run the first deafblind programme in Goa. Since 2016, Reflino has been part of the programme development team at Sense India. During these two years, he has been instrumental in building the capacity of Sense India's project partners in the North and West region of India.

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    Sandy Joint

    Sandy Joint

    Teacher of children and adults who are deafblind, (thirty-five years) holding a variety of positions. At present level one accommodation service provider. Currently writing a range of materials to assist people with sensory Impairment. Main focus tactile sign dictionary.

  • Simon Allison

    Simon Allison
    Sense / Deafblind International Youth Netowork

    Simon has worked in the field of Deafblindness for 20 years leading youth projects for Sense in the UK including the Sense holiday programme. He is the Coordinator for the Deafblind International youth network. In 2014, Simon founded his own charity that supports young people with disabilities to access the performing arts.

  • Sofi Malmgren

    Sofi Malmgren
    Adviser, The National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools

    Sofi has worked several years with tactile language and congenital deafblindness. In 2004, she started working as a preschool teacher for a child with congenital deafblindness. When the child started school, Sofi followed and worked as a teacher at a new school for students with congenital deafblindness. She soon became interested in how to develop tactile communication with several individuals involved - multi-party communication.
    Together with her colleguage, Jessica Jägryd, she saw opportunities with multi-party communication, as a way to approach conversations about emotions and sexuality. Her interest in the subject inspired her to write a master thesis about communicating emotions, through tactile bodily language. (The master thesis is only available in Swedish.)

    During the recent years, Sofi has worked as a National Advisor at National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools, where she has the opportunity to spread these skills further in Sweden.

  • Sonja van de Molengraft

    Sonja van de Molengraft
    Manager, Cresam

    Since november 2015 manager of Cresam, national resource national for deafblindness in France. Before, worked for 15 years at Kentalis in the Netherlands as a caregiver, rehabilitationtherapist and manager in the field of congenital and acquired defablindness.

  • Srinivasan Prasannan

    Srinivasan Prasannan
    Assistant Manager, Sense International India

    Srinivasan Prasannan had started his carrier in 1997 as a special educator for children with deafblindness/MSI at Chennai, India. He has completed his B.Sc., B.Ed., and also holds the Educational Leadership Program degree from Perkins School for the Blind, USA. At present he is working as assistant manager-training at Sense India. His major role is to support and build the capacity of the special educators of partner organizations across 22 states of India to render quality services for children and adults with deafblindness. He is also involved in planning and executing national, regional and state level trainings on deafblindness for various stakeholders. 

  • Susanne Morrow

    Susanne Morrow
    New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative

    Susanne Morgan Morrow is a nationally certified sign language interpreter and transition specialist. Her work has focused on creating linkages between the interpreting, deaf and deaf-blind communities through her role as the chairperson to various national organizations and committees. Previously, as a transition specialist with the national deaf-blind project, she addressed topics such as self-determination, advocacy, and transition planning for young adults who are deaf-blind.

  • Sylvie Cantin

    Sylvie Cantin
    Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille du CISSS de la Montérégie-Centre

    Sylvie Cantin is a Planning, Programming and Research Officer at Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille (Québec, CANADA). She holds a Master's degree in measurement and evaluation and a year of Propedeutics in psychology. Her 25 years of experience in the Québec public health and social services network led her to design, develop and administer tools, methods and data collection processes in various fields and projects, often unique and innovative. For the past few years, Sylvie has been working in rehabilitation research in visual impairment.

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    Tracey Veldhuis

    Tracey Veldhuis
    Manager of Community Services, DeafBlind Ontario Services

    Over the last couple of decades, Tracey has worked in several different roles while involved in Intervenor Services. Currently as the Manager of Community Services at DeafBlind Ontario Services, Tracey has the opportunity to work with people across the province, who provide and receive Intervenor Services, and is involved in DeafBlind Ontario Services' Community Services - Sensory Exploration Arts (SEA™) and Community Services- Bridge programs. She is also involved with some other projects both provincially and internationally.

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    Trees van Nunen

    Trees van Nunen
    Royal Dutch Kentalis

    Trees van Nunen is working as a psychologist for the diagnostic team on deafblindness at Royal Dutch Kentalis in the Netherlands. Additionally, she is a senior researcher. For Kentalis International Foundation she was involved in training programs in the area of deafblindness in Uganda, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso. Congenital Rubella Syndrome and dynamic assessment are topics of special interest. She has more than over 27 years of experience working with people with deafblindness.

  • Vuokko Einarsson

    Vuokko Einarsson
    Licensed Psychologist, The National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools

    Vuokko Einarsson isa licensed psychologist and psychotherapist. She works at a resource center within the National Agency for special Needs Eduction and Schools, in Sweden. Their center supports the development for children and young people who are deafblind, and their education.

  • Wendy Buckley

    Wendy Buckley
    Perkins School for the Blind

    Wendy is a full-time assistive technology specialist/lead teacher in the Deafblind Program at Perkins School for the Blind where she works closely with teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum. Wendy is also an instructor in the Vision Studies Program at UMass Boston, teaching braille and assistive technology graduate courses online.

  • Yvette Gallegos

    Yvette Gallegos

    Yvette Gallegos M.Ed After finishing the studies in multiple disabilities and deafblindness returned to Mexico and began to advocate for services for this population and their families. She worked as volunteer in different countries in Europe and Latin America and currently is working in the field advocating for families in Mexico Graciela Ferioli has studies in the area of vision and hearing disabilities she worked for 27 years in international affairs regarding the education of students with multiple disabilities including deafblindness. She has been a great advocate for families and collaborates with parents networks. Dr. Namita Jacob has worked intensively with children, families and communities for over 25 years. Her experience in care home situations starts with her own position as Carer in a residential care and education facility for children with multiple sensory impairment from all across the country, some with and others without families. She has worked in several countries in the Asia Pacific Region.

Pre-conference CHARGE Network Workshop

  • Prof Andrea Wanka

    Prof Andrea Wanka
    University of Education Heidelberg

    Andrea Wanka, Prof. Dr. phil., is Professur for Deafblindness at the University of Education in Heidelberg/Germany. Before she was comissioner for Deafblindness at the stiftung st. franziuskus heiligenbronn/Germany. She is mostly working with congenital deafblind, but has also specific knowledge and experience on acquired deafblindness. In her PhD she analysed early parent-child-interactions with children with CHARGE Syndrome, since then she is focusing on CHARGE Syndrome in her work. She got the Young Professional Leadership Award from DbI. She published five books on CHARGE Syndrome in German language.