Darryl Sellwood is a research student at the Flinders University and has been a director of a successful not-for-profit telecommunications company for six years.

Born in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1970, Darryl spent his childhood at the Regency Park Centre, a school and residence for children with disabilities. Growing up without a family, Darryl realised early the value of community and has built a strong network of connections through involvement in his local church and a variety of other groups sharing his interests which include world music, technology and Christian ministry.

He uses an electric wheelchair for mobility and an AAC device to support his communication. Anyone who is willing to take the time soon discovers that he is a fun-loving, intelligent and caring person, with a slightly twisted sense of humour, who is determined not to allow his disability, cerebral palsy, to rule his life.

His early schooling seemed to place a low priority on literacy and his poor skills in this area made his early AAC experiences frustrating. Darryl attended his local High School then trained and worked in the information technology field finally completing his Bachelor of Computer and Information Science degree at the University of South Australia (UniSA) in 2008. During his undergraduate studies, Darryl strived to improve his literacy skills and received numerous Merit Awards and Chancellors Letters of Commendation and was invited to join the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Darryl represented Australia in the Computer Programming event at the 1995 and 2000 International Abilympics, which is a vocational competition for skilled people with disabilities held in a different country every four years. He received a Certificate of Merit at the 1995 event.

He has a long history of involvement in advocacy and striving to improve services for people with disabilities. Darryl has volunteered on the boards of several community agencies. Between 2005 and 2011, he was a director of the Australian Communication Exchange Limited (ACE), a not-for-profit company offering communication products and services to Deaf, communication impaired, hearing impaired and hearing people.

His role at ACE and his current research toward a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) have enabled him to discover the point where his interests in people and technology converge. Darryl aims to pursue a research career in the AAC and telecommunications field, exploring ways to improve and broaden access to telecommunications for people with Complex Communication Needs. This aspiration is motivated by a passion to enable people to live more satisfying lives.

As a determined, lateral thinker with a slightly twisted sense of humour, I enjoy working on thinking of creative ways to solve problems that could enhance the quality of life for others as well as for myself. I am optimistic that I will continue to succeed and achieve exciting things in the future. - Darryl Sellwood

darrylsellwood att yahoo com au


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