Deaf and blind Sheffield student Ellen inspires children

Ellen Watson, a Sheffield University student who is both deaf and blind, with her guide dog Skipp. Ellen has been shortlisted for the Young Persons Achievement Award at the 2017 national Guide Dogs Annual Awards.
Ellen Watson, a Sheffield University student who is both deaf and blind, with her guide dog Skipp. Ellen has been shortlisted for the Young Persons Achievement Award at the 2017 national Guide Dogs Annual Awards.
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A deaf and blind student who dedicates her time to helping people with disabilities has been short listed for an award.

Ellen Watson has overcome the loss of her sight and hearing to inspire young people and make a difference for people with disabilities.

In recognition of her achievements, she has been short listed for a Young Person’s Achievement Award at this year’s national Guide Dogs Annual Awards.

Ellen was born with hearing loss and diagnosed with sight loss and registered blind at the age of 16 due to complications caused by a condition called Usher Syndrome.

However, with the help of her guide dog Skipp, Ellen was able to attend university and also took centre stage at a party political conference, speaking on the rights of people with disabilities.

She now works as a teaching assistant, inspiring the next generation of pupils.

Guide Dogs’ Mobility Team Manager Sarah McNulty said: “I am thrilled that Ellen Watson is a finalist in the Guide Dogs Annual Awards 2017 - this significant achievement is very well-deserved.

“Ellen is a committed and inspirational campaigner and fundraiser and she works hard to raise awareness of Usher Syndrome and deaf-blindness.

“We’re so proud of her and will keep our fingers and paws crossed that she will win.”

Ellen has also raised thousands of pounds for Guide Dogs. She has been invited to attend the Guide Dogs Annual Award ceremony at The Hurlingham Club, London, on Wednesday May 17 - where she will find out if she has won the accolade.