Member Spotlight: Di Wade

We meet inspiring members from all walks of life at Deafblind UK, but few have shown as much courage and resilience as Di Wade, who has not let her illness deter her from following her dreams.

Registered blind Di was born with Antley Bixler Syndrome, a rare condition which makes her severely hearing impaired and unable to bend her elbows. Despite these obstacles, Di maintains a determined spirit with ambitions of becoming a bestselling writer – all whilst holding down a full time administrative officer role for the Department of Work and Pensions at Warbreck House.


Unwilling to let her condition get the better of her, Di has visited corners of the globe that we can only dream of, including such adventures as driving husky sleds in Finland and walking across China, Japan, Laos, Cambodia and the Antipodes. She’s also a woman of many talents, having earned a degree in English and Philosophy as well as a grade eight piano and French horn. She’s even a keen fan of horse-riding, ice-fishing and tandem-cycling.

If all that wasn’t enough, Di has found the time to write and publish her own poetry anthology with the help of her editor and friend Trudy Salandiak. A Year in Verse tells the story of Di’s life through the viewpoint of the four seasons. The official book launch recently took place in Blackpool to great acclaim, and proceeds from the book sales will go towards Deafblind UK.

A sunny disposition

If there is one thing that member Di has taught us, it’s not to take life too seriously. Di maintains a good sense of humour on a day to day basis and recounts memories of how her daily challenges have not stopped her. She says: “As a blind person, I wield a white stick, and my dramas tend to include things like trying to post letters in people wearing red coats, or engaging inanimate objects in animated conversation.”

Di’s positive attitude is an inspiration to us all – we are incredibly thankful for the work she does to raise money for Deafblind UK, and will continue to support her as much as we can. She says: “I can only thank Deafblind UK for their support towards making my dreams of becoming a writer happen. As a deafblind person negotiating a difficult world as best I might, their presence cannot but be an inestimable source of solace and an assurance of aid available in times of need, which is why I wish from all my heart to make a success of this venture.”

Though life has not been without its ups and downs for Di, including misunderstandings from those who are unaware of her deafness, she is always grateful for the love and support she has received from those around her. “I have excellent colleagues who help in any way they can,” she says. “I am, in fact, very lucky.”

To buy a copy of A Year in Verse and support Deafblind UK, email

di wade
Katie Lingo
by Katie Lingo
9th June 2018

Project Details

Skills: Journalism

Date: 9th May 2017

Project Info

Di Wade is a member of Deafblind UK who has travelled the world. I profiled her as part of an article for their bi-monthly magazine, Open Hand.