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Public Speaking

From showing my home setup to various healthcare professionals that have been to my house I have been asked if I could show it to others too. 


RCOTSS Annual Housing Conference Nov. 2017

I was invited to speak at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section for Housing Annual Conference in Belfast.

I was presenting with Professor Suzanne Martin, Head of School of Health Sciences University of Ulster and as this was a housing conference I presented on the modifications we had carried out to our house whenever I moved home .


I then went onto detail how I had used Assistive Technology to make my home more accessible for me by using Amazon Echo and accessories to control the TV, lights, fan etc.

NIPEC Annual Conference Feb 2018

In February 2018 I was asked to present at the NIPEC  annual conference in Craigavon Civic Centre. 


 The conference was centred around enabling professionalism and had presentations from all over the UK.


My presentation was titled " Breaking down the barriers to assistive technology"  and I wanted to carry on the theme of my website  showing that it is not very difficult or expensive to make your home "smarter" and more  accessible.


 My presentation lasted  35 minutes  with lots of videos and pictures showing how I use assistive technology such as Amazon Echo, Harmony Hub, Wifi plugs etc  to control my home by my voice.


Click to see a  video from the event and even a video of my full presentation !

Pre-presentation with Mrs Angela Mc Lernon OBE, Chief Executive NIPEC

BBC The One Show May 2018

Back in August 2017 BBC's The One Show came to Cushendall and asked could they use some of my drone footage of The Lurig Run Video .


During the live broadcast they cut to a few clips from the video (view here)

Just from chatting to the  researcher from the BBC  she had said that my story was very interesting and would I be interested in possibly appearing in a segment sometime in the following year on the show.  I said that I would be and thought nothing more about it until almost a year later I got an email!

So  in mid May we had a visit from a few of the One Team Show  to interview myself and some of the family covering a wide range of things from my accident  through to how I fly my drone.

So stay tuned, it should be shown  in the next couple of months.

Chatting with Joe Lindsay
Mum and Dad backstage !
Dad checking out the equipment
Getting the Drone setup
Showing Joe my tech in my bedroom

Antrim & Ballymena Locality “Better at Home” May 2018

This was the third in a series of local Trust workshops, aimed at countering the challenges facing the statutory and voluntary sectors, in working together with service users to make a real difference to people’s lives.  The theme of the latest workshop was “Better at Home,” and it brought together a range of stakeholders, to explore the concept of independent living and how to support people to remain in their own homes as they grow older.    


In the first section of my presentation, I concentrated on was the physical modifications we had carried out to our house to make it more accessible for me.


This covered a variety of areas from the widening of the door frames to the construction of the wheelchair access at the back of the house.


Then I went into the different types of assistive technology I use every day. I showed videos of how I can use my Amazon Alexa to control the TV, plug sockets, heater and even my profiling bed, lastly, I showed the different ways to keep in touch using Alexa and how to use your voice to control a mobile phone 




Antrim & Ballymena Locality “Better at Home”

Older Peoples Panel - September '18

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Senior Social Work Development Series

"There's ability in every Disability" October '18

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Marie Curie Hospice Belfast - November '18

After seeing my presentation at the NIPEC conference, the Hospice Manager thought that the Amazon Echo would be useful for one of the Hospice Residents.

After setting up the Echo Dot Gerard was able to call his wife, “For the first time in four years, Gerard was able to call me” Read the full article here.

I focused this presentation on the different  pieces of technology I use throughout my day to do a variety of things like control the T.V., lights, mobile phone,computer etc.

I ended the presentation showing how I fly my drone and my appearance on The One Show

I  also got to meet Gerard and find out how he uses the Amazon Echo, a lovely man with a great outlook on life it was great to see how the ideas in my presentations have  helped him gain some more independence .

Making the presentation
3 people smiling

The 36th Annual Guttmann Conference

'Life is full of Possibilities'

Belfast June 2019

Named after Sir Ludwig “Poppa” Guttmann, the founder of the Paralympic Games, Guttmann is an annual educational event for spinal cord injury (SCI) specialists


This year was the turn of Belfast to host the event and I was asked to come along as an invited speaker.


I covered a variety of topics ranging from my accident up to how I fly my drone.


I also talked about the Assistive Technology that I use and how there are lots of devices available off the shelf that can really help you out.


I found a write-up of the event online (Read it here) that mentions me specifically!

"One of the most impressive talks came from Gareth Rowan, of who suffered a C4 complete injury in 2014.  His talk opened with the quote from American Disability Rights Activist Judy Heumann “For most of us, technology makes things easier.  For a person with a disability, it makes things possible”.  And Gareth proved this to be true, demonstrating the changes he has made to his home with Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ and ‘Echo’ he showed how independence and quality of life can be significantly enhanced at relatively low cost, introducing digital controls for lights, TV, phones and messaging. "


Click to read a blog post about the conference from

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