Meet DBV Members

Heather Lawson – Founding member

Heather Lawson with Prime Minister Julia Guillard

Heather Lawson with Prime Minister Julia Guillard

Hi, I’m Heather.

I have been deaf since birth and started losing my sight in my early adult years. I communicate using touch signing. But what I really want you to know about me is that I love to travel; I have been to the US and Cambodia. I have been very lucky to do this as many people with Deaf blindness live in aged or institutional care, many others do not get support to become independent, this is very sad. There are so many more things that I would like to do in my life but one of the things that gets in the way of this is my total reliance on tactile interpreters to communicate with the world and the lack of funding for me and other people with deaf blindness.

Michelle Stevens – Founding Member

Michelle Stevens with her dog Logan

Michelle Stevens with her dog Logan

Hello, I’m Michelle;

I was born with hearing and little sight. I started losing my hearing when I was older. I learnt to play piano as a child, I love music. I live independently in rural Victoria and I am studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree. I use tactile interpreters to help me to communicate. One of my dreams is for more people with deafblindness to join DeafBlind Victorians and for the group to get some ongoing funding. This would mean DeafBlind Victorians could be a truly independent self advocacy group.

Trudy Ryall – Founding Member

Founding member Trudy Ryall

Founding member Trudy Ryall

Hello, I’m Trudy;

I was born with a hearing loss; I lost my vision later in life. I have Ushers Type 2. I have severe hearing loss and tunnel vision, so I still have some vision and hearing.      I also lip read and am currently learning AUSLAN. I am really passionate about human rights, animals and enjoying life to the full. Before I lost my hearing and vision I was a library technician. I have had many jobs but getting and keeping a job can be really hard for people with deafblindness. I want to promote the employment of people with a disability, I believe we have a lot to offer.

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