Here are photographs & sound recordings of the conference’s keynotes:

Keynote 1:

Claire Maxwell, “Braille in the Digital Age” and Clive Gardiner, “Digital Talking Books”

Photograph of Claire Maxwell

Claire Maxwell started work at RNIB in 2012 in the Technology Sales and Support team.  She then progressed through RNIB to her current role as Reading Services Manager for Braille.  Prior to that Claire worked as a language teacher in a secondary school, and before that as a teacher of English and phonetics at the Sciences Politique in Nancy, France.  Throughout her studies at Stirling University in politics and languages, Claire worked on a number of access technology projects including: evaluating the accessibility of the university’s intranet, writing a paper on best practice for the university to help them support other students with disabilities, and working as a technology trainer for external and internal bodies.  Her work as Braille Product Manager has made Claire appreciate the benefits she gained from learning Braille at an early age. This realisation has instilled in Claire a desire to promote the importance of Braille Literacy. She is a strong advocate for Braille literacy for all and through her work with technology understands how the two can be used in conjunction to ensure the future of braille.

Photograph of Clive Gardiner

Clive Gardiner joined RNIB in August 2013 and looks after RNIB’s Content and Reading Services including libraries and Talking Books. His background is in marketing, business development, content licensing and digital media with extensive senior management and board experience gained at leading companies (WE7, BMG Music, Cafédirect, Pioneer). Clive did his MBA at Henley Business School, where he is a member of the Marketing Special Interest Group, and he has lectured there as well as at University of Westminster, Tech Music School, and Middlesex University.

Sound recording: “Braille in the Digital Age” and “Digital Talking Books”


Keynote 2:

Julie Anderson, “‘Educating Country Bumpkins’: Reading and Blind Veterans from St Dunstan’s”

Photo of Dr Julie Anderson

Julie Anderson is Reader in Modern History at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. Her interest lies in the history of medicine and the history of disability on which she has published several books. She has just completed a book called The Science of Seeing which will be published by Manchester University Press in 2015.


Keynote 3:

Georgina Kleege, “Dear Readers: My History with Aural Texts”

Photograph of Georgina Kleege

Georgina Kleege teaches creative writing and disability studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her recent books include Sight Unseen (1999) and Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller (2006). Kleege’s current work is concerned with blindness and visual art: how blindness is represented in art, how blindness affects the lives of visual artists, how museums can make visual art accessible to people who are blind and visually impaired. She has lectured and served as consultant to art institutions around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London.

Sound recording: “Dear Readers: My History with Aural Texts”


Exhibition led by Heather Tilley:

Photograph of exhibition of braille books.

Photograph of exhibition of talking book records and player from RNIB, and also photographs and typewriters from Blind Veterans UK.

Photograph of exhibition of tactile picture books for children, on load from Sweden.

Heather Tilley is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Birkbeck’s English and Humanities Department. Dr Tilley is currently finishing a book titled Blindness and Writing: Wordsworth to Gissing. She has also curated numerous exhibitions including “Touching the Book: Embossed Literature for Blind People in the Nineteenth Century” and “Facing Blindness: Visual Impairment in the Nineteenth Century” at the National Portrait Gallery. In November, Dr Tilley and Dr Matthew Rubery will be curating an exhibition titled “How We Read: A Sensory History of Books for Blind People” as part of Being Human, the UK’s first national festival of the humanities.


Keynote 4:

George Williams, “Accessibility in the Digital Humanities”

Photograph of George H. Williams

George H. Williams is an associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina Upstate. His research and teaching interests focus on writing in digital environments, accessibility in digital environments, disability studies in the humanities, and British literature. On Twitter, Dr. Williams is @GeorgeOnline, and more information about his work may be found at

Sound recording: “Accessibility in the Digital Humanities”


Keynote 5:

Selina Mills, “Blindness in the Media: Who Can We Really See?”

Photograph of Selina Mills giving keynote lecture at "Blindness, Technology, and Multimodal Reading" conference in London 2014.

Selina Mills is a free-lance writer and journalist who writes on the arts, business, and topics relating to blindness. She writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph, Spectator, Guardian, Times, and Financial Times. She’s currently finishing a book titled Life Unseen: The Story of Blindness.

George Williams’s detailed notes on the conference presentations are available too: NotesBlindnessTechnologyMultimodalReading



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