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iShootEvents at the 18th Annual Deafblind International World Conference

By September 26, 2023 No Comments

Deafblind Network of Ontario hosted the 18th Deafblind International World Conference in Ottawa on July 24-28. Photographer Sarah Bradley of Ottawa’s iShootEvents shares her experience from the conference.

By: Sarah Bradley, iShootEvents

I had the pleasure and the honour of “shooting” the Deafblind International World Conference in Ottawa, Canada. I have photographed many large conferences, but this one really touched me.

When “shooting” events my goal is to capture the overall event including guests in posed, candid & engaging shots in a photo-journalistic manner. Telling the story of the event through my photos.

My first interaction with the delegates was at a social evening. I did my usual thing: posed group shots; candid shots of people laughing and enjoying themselves; photographing speakers as well as the entertainment. It didn’t take me long to realize this was going to be a different conference.

Over the next few days, I witnessed the incredible bond between individuals with deafblindness (interesting to note that MS Word underlines this as a spelling mistake!) and their translators (which I now know are called intervenors). I was absolutely mesmerized. I watched 2 people with deafblindness engaged in a conversation together using tactile signing (something I have never heard of – google it!). There was another very inspiring lady with deafblindness in a wheelchair who had one intervenor tactile signing while another touched her back in various ways to communicate what was happening in the room; whether it be laughter or applause.

My photography style quickly changed to include capturing that bond by focusing on the hands.

By day 5 I felt like a part of this very tight, loving, supportive community. In fact, I was very emotional knowing it was coming to an end.  I have a newfound awareness of the deaf, the blind, but especially the deafblind.

With much love;

Sarah the photographer who is 5’3 with dark blonde hair and green eyes.

Special shoutout to Bettyanne Sherrer from CanPlan Event & Conference Services for introducing me to this inspiring community.

Connect with Sarah:

Facebook: ishootevents.ca
Instagram: @ishootevents.ca
Twitter: @i_shoot_events
LinkedIn: iShootEvents

Two women posing for photo in front of stage.

Cathy Proll, CEO Sensity and Jennifer Robbins, Executive Director, CHKC

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