John Owens – Vice Chairperson
John Owens has been serving on the Board of Deafblind Scotland since October 2011.
Following a long career in Social Work as a practitioner and manager he brings a good understanding of public services and the challenges facing people who rely on these services and supports to live their lives to the full in their community. Equality and Rights are major drivers in his approach and he continues to champion inequalities whenever it arises.
Having developed and managed successful projects and services, he is a keen supporter of innovation and encourages reflection and continuous improvement rather than status quo.
Running marathons and distances over 26 miles, even if they are over mountains, are regular days out for him. With age, the bike is becoming more of an interest alongside 60s and 70s music. Family remains the major priority and the first grandchild is an energiser and a new role that continues to teach about life.
Michael Rooney worked at Blindcraft, Glasgow from 1982 until 2002. During his working time he was shop steward and Deputy Convenor. In 1986 Michael came into contact with one colleague who introduced him to Deafblind Scotland and he was elected a board member in 2008. Michael’s dual sensory impairment is as a result of Rubella during pregnancy. He was born during wartime and little was known about the effects of this at that time. As he is getting older his condition is deteriorating but he is determined to make improvements for younger generations. This was his main reason for joining the board and he is now in his second term of election. One of his main aims at the moment is to achieve a free pass for guide/communicators whilst travelling by train with a deafblind person.
James Orr Ross
James Orr Ross joined Deafblind Scotland in June 2011, he has been employed in the fields of personnel, training and industrial relations for more than 40 years, 25 of those at directorate level with Strathclyde Regional Council, James is chartered FCIPD. James has over 16 years experience as a Director/Trustee of various charitable organisations. He is currently a non-executive director of Headway Ayrshire, providing services to clients living with acquired brain injury; CASS, providing independent citizen advocacy services to people living with learning difficulties, and Aspire2gether, an organisation assisting individuals move into learning, training, volunteering and employment. James believes that non-executive directors should be the custodians of the governance process and that they should not be involved in the day-to-day running of business but should monitor the executive activity and contribute to the development of strategy.
Issy studied at Glasgow University (Education Faculty) and graduated with a Bachelor of Education. She then went on to do a post grad at Oxford Brooks University and qualified to become a teacher of the deaf. Issy went onto work in a variety of educational settings with deaf and deafblind children, 15 years of which were at managerial level. Issy has Usher type 2 and regards herself as completely blind but continues to enjoy playing the flute, swimming and going out and about with her trusting guide dog, Ice.
Twimukye has been working with the Poverty Alliance in Glasgow as a Senior Fieldwork Development Officer since 2008. Previously, she worked as Executive Director of the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) in the late 1990s and as an independent consultant on disability and development issues in Eastern and Southern African regions until 2000. She has extensive experience of involvement with a range of third sector organisations in Scotland including on the Board of the Scottish Refugee Council (2008-2014), Member of the Board of Directors of One Parent Families (2013-2017) and Bridging the Gap (2014-March 2017) Chair, Karibu Scotland Chair (2006 -2007 and member of the Board till 2017). Twimukye has been on the Board of Deafblind Scotland since August 2016.
Colin has been involved with Deafblind Scotland since 2008 and has been serving on the Board since 2018.
Colin is a chartered surveyor and project manager. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors since 1988, he is an accredited commercial mediator and Director of Hg Consulting.
Hg Consulting specialise in challenging projects, such as acting as the Project Director taking the Edinburgh Tram project through mediation to completion, dealing with contracts, grant of planning consent and site acquisition for the Edinburgh St James development and, closer to home, as the Project Manager for the 10-year Kirkintilloch’s Initiative projects programme.
Colin’s goal in business and in life is to help achieve fairness for all.
Colin is a qualified RYA Yachtmaster and enjoys sailing on the Clyde, at Loch Lomond and abroad.