Presenting on tech at the Moebius conference 2020

As someone who has a fairly rare condition, I love getting peer support from other people around the world with the same experiences and issues. It is so important to be able to have a forum to share our hopes, dreams and fears. 

Moebius Syndrome is a very rare condition which causes paralysis in facial muscles, club foot, missing limbs and sometimes cognitive issues too.

AbilityNet's volunteers offer FREE support to adapt your technology. Call 0800 048 7642


I remember first connecting with people with Moebius Syndrome back in the mid-1990s when I discovered bulletin boards whilst I was at university.

But sharing stories on social media isn't the same as meeting up in person.

Every two years adults and children with Moebius Syndrome get together at various cities in America where there is a programme of events and talks to educate and inform people about the condition. My wife (who also has Moebius Syndrome) and I were lucky enough to go to the conference in 2018 in Long Beach, California.

Virtual meetup: adapting for Covid-19

In spring, it became clear this year's planned meetup in Minneapolis wouldn't happen due to Covid-19. There was much sadness but the organisers were determined the show would go on, online, and I was invited to speak in my capacity as Advice and Information Officer for AbilityNet.

Working on the Helpline I advise people with disabilities on how to adapt their technology to make it work for them, and so I agreed to present to the community on Adaptive Technology.

AbilityNet offers support on adapting technology for disabled and older people through our Helpline, our network of volunteers and by offering FREE factsheets, and through My Computer My Way

 

I'd started working on my presentation a few months' in advance of the conference, but was delighted to be invited to present it live. While not the same as being there in person, presenting live means you get feedback from people viewing the presentation. 

There were people at the conference from Australia, Israel and Canada as well as the UK.

AbilityNet is running a series of FREE live webinars to support people during COVID-19

People with the condition can have missing limbs, eyesight issues and some also have cognitive issues.  I am lucky to work for AbilityNet and I take enquiries from clients every single day who have issues with using technology. 

I was so lucky to be able to present at an international conference.  If the pandemic hadn't happened, maybe I wouldn't have been able to present to people worldwide.

The COVID pandemic has been a time of learning and I think people have discovered that technology is a great way to stay in touch. Meeting up online isn't as good as meeting up in person, but it is a really viable alternative.

Our FREE webinars as part of AbilityNet LIVE have shown people how technology can help during this time. For recordings and upcoming events go to abilitynet.org.uk/live.

How AbilityNet can help

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people.

  • Call our free Helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm on 0800 048 7642.
  • Help from volunteers We have a network of AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems

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