Listen to this article

Deafblind Awareness Week: DBA Story: Annmaree Watharow

Here is a story on Annmaree Watharow, a Deafblind Australian, a Board member of Deafblind Australia and an academic researcher.Annmaree had dedicated her life to support her peers who are Deafblind, particularly the ageing population that develop the onset of dual sensory loss. Meet Annmaree Watharow: Annmaree Watharow has Usher syndrome

Here is a story on Annmaree Watharow, a Deafblind Australian, a Board member of Deafblind Australia and an academic researcher.
Annmaree had dedicated her life to support her peers who are Deafblind, particularly the ageing population that develop the onset of dual sensory loss.

Meet Annmaree Watharow:

Annmaree Watharow has Usher syndrome and is the first deaf person to complete a medical degree at the University of Sydney. She undertook a PhD examining the hospital experiences of people with deafblindness and now works at the Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney. She also recently completed a Masters of Creative Writing and writes essays and creative nonfiction about living with deafblindness-dual sensory impairment.

‘Dual Sensory Impairment in Older People: An invisible Epidemic’, written by Annamaree Watharow and Moira Dunsmore, is available affordably from Lived Places Publishing. The book opens and ends with lived experience. Firstly, showcasing the complexity of dual sensory impairment in older people, and ending with illustrating how certain strategies and solutions might work in real life cases.

Throughout the book, common risks and complications of dual sensory impairments are outlined, including visual hallucinations; the challenges faced by carers; communiciation strategies, tactile messaging, technology; and how professionals and practitioners can better support older people living with combined hearing and sight loss.

The book is targeted to university students in health and social care as, with the view that they are the professionals, policy makers and practicioners of tomorrow, this book will guide them to improve and raise the standards of service delivery.  The content is accessible and Annamaree and Moira are working on a consumer handbook for next year.

Annmaree’s current research interests are disability and identity; the pursuit of recognition of deafblindness as a unique and distinct disability in protections, policies and practices with dedicated funding and services; improving recognition and support of older people with dual sensory impairment; and also in promoting accessibility for people with disability more broadly.  

Watch the AUSLAN video on Youtube or watch below:

Skip to content