I’d strongly encourage anyone to bring Rachel into their environment to hear her talk.Jon Spriggs, in this blog post on OggCamp
I want to help you make your event a success.
Here are the talks I have available:
- “The Power of Change: Learning to live as a weirdo” – I tell my story of growing up with undiagnosed ADHD and autism, and coping with severe and complex mental health issues. More details below.
- “What is accessibility and how you can be truly accessible.” A broad talk about why accessibility is important, who we need to be accessible to and some really easy ways to achieve that. More details below.
- “Beyond the memes – why our accepting of mental illness shouldn’t become a barrier to recovery.” While talking, and even joking, about mental illness is a good thing because it breaks down barriers, we shouldn’t allow this to become a replacement for seeking treatment or believing we’ll never get better. I bring my own experience into this talk – how I was mentally ill for 38 years before my unexpected recovery – and encourage others to believe that they can get better too. **NEW TALK**
- “We’re better than you” – a tongue-in-cheek exploration of how neurodiverse conditions can put autistics, dyslexics and those with ADHD ahead of their peers. I show you unequivocal evidence of our superpowers and talk about real life examples of our extraordinary strengths and abilities. So often neurodiverse people are seen as challenging or problematic, and this talk turns those attitudes on their heads. **NEW TALK**
Talk 1: The Power of Change: learning to live as a “weirdo”
Being called a weirdo from an early age but never really understanding why, I talk about how I finally learnt to embrace being different. I weave my personal story with fascinating facts and unique insights into the world of neurodiversity and mental illness. It’s not all about me though – I use my experience working as a coach to help you understand and embrace your differences too.
“Absolutely brilliant! Humourous, compassionate and thought-provoking.”
“I learned and laughed so much.”
“Easily the best talk of [the conference].”
“It was the best I have seen [at the conference].”
“The best talk I saw all year.”
“So compelling and funny and emotional. Absolutely superb.”
“Everyone needs to hear this talk.”
Talk 2: What accessibility is and how you can be truly accessible
People too often think accessibility is just about ramps and Braille. But it covers a much wider area – helping people with mental illnesses, learning difficulties, neurodevelopmental disorders – and, crucially, “normal” people! Almost every improvement you make for a particular group helps everyone outside that group as well.
So many access improvements can be so easily made – from having a photo of the door of your building on your website, to help people find it, or telling people when an event ends as well as starts so they know how long they have to sit still!
And when it comes to your employees, accessibility goes even further. It’s not just about altering their environment so they can do their best work, it’s about exploiting their unique gifts so they can truly shine.
“Doing an amazing job at educating people on accessibility.”
“Powerful and moving.”
“I just wanted to say how much I loved your talk.”
“A welcome change to the norm.”
I am a trained public speaker with over 15 years’ experience speaking at events. I enjoy building a rapport with people, so I tailor each talk for the specific audience. Because I have ADHD, I ensure that no-one ever gets bored, and I make sure every person has something useful they can take away from each talk.
I’ve been interviewed on live and recorded radio (including Radio 4), and on live TV. I’ve spoken to groups of 20 and audiences of hundreds, doing straightforward presentations, Q&A expert panels and interviews. I’ve presented at Bar Camps, for networking groups, at exhibitions and at conferences. I’ve even done a best man’s speech!
My feedback has been consistently and overwhelmingly positive, which I attribute to a high level of training, my commitment to doing a good job, connecting with people, and being fortunate enough to have a great audience.
Thank you for sharing your very personal and emotive journey Rachel. You had us all transfixed and you even caused our first ever standing ovation!Duncan Nisbet, organiser, Liverpool Tester Gathering