Education & Learning for Life with Albinism

2015 Family Weekend Conference
Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th October

The Hayes Conference Centre
DE55 1AU

3 days left to book!

The Hayes Conference Centre

The theme of this year's Albinism Fellowship UK & Ireland family weekend conference is 'Education and Learning for Life with Albinism.'

Support in education for children affected by albinism is changing. Living life to the full despite albinism often requires knowledge and understanding of a variety of key topics related to the condition; the sharing of personal and professional experience of albinism is essential to this. The conference and a small exhibition of relevant providers of equipment, aids and services aims to achieve all of this in a positive, sociable, relaxed and supportive environment for families.

We are holding this fully residential conference and exhibition in Derbyshire from the afternoon of Friday 23rd - lunchtime on Sunday 25th October 2015 (with a day ticket option on the Saturday only for local residents) at The Hayes Conference Centre, a dedicated charity conference centre which provides affordable, modest accommodation and partial self-service catering in a friendly, supportive and hospitable venue.
The Hayes is easily accessible by car from the M1, Nottingham, Derby and Chesterfield. For those arriving by public transport, it is a short taxi ride from Alfreton station on the railway line between Nottingham and Sheffield.
See The Hayes website for more information about the venue and directions.


Download a sneak-preview of the programme (PDF).

Note that this programme is still subject to change, as we confirm final details with speakers.

Speakers include:

Session topics cover:




We will also have discussion groups for parents, people with albinism, siblings & other family members.

Activities for Children & Young People

We will have an on-site crèche for the under-12s, provided by Kids at Heart, who have worked with us during many previous conferences.
We will also have an activities programme for older children, including Self-Esteem & Anti-Bullying workshops, as well as demonstrations of Goalball, a sport for visually impaired people, which you may have seen during the London 2012 Paralympics.


On the Saturday, we will have an exhibition featuring equipment, aids & support services for people with albinism.


As well as formal sessions, we will have plenty of family entertainment in the evenings, including a Cèilidh Dance and Singing from Ben Haynes (Invited).

Booking & Accommodation

Bookings for the conference are now open. Unlike previous events, there is no need to book accommodation separately.

Your conference fee includes:

The prices below are valid for Albinism Fellowship Members and their immediate family members only.
We strongly recommend joining Albinism Fellowship if you wish to attend the events.
Click here for information on how to join and the full benefits of membership.

Friday-Sunday Residential


We recognise that those living locally may only wish to attend the event during the day on Saturday, and we are also offering 'Saturday-Only' day rates at £40 per adult, or £15 for a child or young person.
Saturday-only rates include access to all conference sessions and exhibition, as well as lunch and light refreshments.

To book, please visit the booking page at
Bookings are handled through Eventbrite on behalf of Albinism Fellowship and we can accept payment by most major credit and debit cards.
All bookings must be received by Friday 9th October.

Financial Support for attendees:

Due to a donation we have recently received, we have been able to establish a small fund to assist some families who might otherwise not be able to benefit from the event, to attend.
The Trustees invite anyone in this situation to make contact via Roselle Potts at as soon as possible.

There will be no lengthy forms to complete and we will provide help to as many people as we are able.
If the limited fund we have allocated is over-subscribed we will prioritise applications from families who have not attended a conference before.
If you feel you could benefit from this help please let us know what support you need.

Taking children out of school:

We appreciate that some parents may need to take their children out of school to attend the Conference activities on the Friday afternoon & evening.
We know that many schools are reluctant to allow this unless parents can demonstrate 'exceptional circumstances.' We believe that, given the massive benefit that children with albinism and their families can receive from the conference, head teachers should consider attendance an 'exceptional circumstance' and authorise an absence.
To help parents when requesting permission, we have provided some supporting notes that can be submitted to the school along with an absence request. Please click here to download (PDF).

Further information:

If you have any questions, would like to suggest session topics, or require additional information including about exhibition or sponsorship opportunities, please contact us at

2014 Ireland Conference Report

Download the Conference Evaluation Report

The second one-day Albinism Conference in Ireland took place on Saturday 15th November at the ChildVision Conference Centre in Dublin. 90 people attended from around Ireland and the UK including many children and adults with albinism.

A creche was provided for the under 12s while the adults were treated to a varied programme in the main hall.

First up was a presentation from Educational Psychologist, Joan Curran around education and employment for young people with albinism (Click to Download). This was followed by a 'Parents Panel', where parents of children with albinism had a chance to share their experiences and answer questions.

Dublin Conference

While the adults had lunch and browsed the exhibition of products and services, the children in the creche got a very special visit from Santa, who had kindly agreed to take time out of his busy pre-Christmas schedule to drop in and give gifts to all of the children.

Dublin Conference Dublin Conference

After lunch, we had a presentation from Prof Michael O'Keefe, a consultant ophthalmologist, who provided an overview of albinism from a clinical perspective (Click to Download). We were then treated to a talk on Sports & Recreation from Paralympic Athelete with albinism, Catherine Walsh and Frank Cullinan, who provides swimming coaching to people with visual impairments.

The final session in the formal programme was an Adults with Albinism panel, where three adults with albinism shared their experiences of living with the condition and took questions.

Dublin Conference Dublin Conference

After the formal part of the conference, many of the delegates headed over to the nearby Skylon Hotel for a gala dinner. After a tasty meal we were treated to musical entertainment from AF Trustee Roslaeen Dempsey and, our special guest, Andrea Begley, Winner of The Voice 2013 and a long time friend of Albinism Fellowship.

Dublin Conference Dublin Conference

We hope that everyone enjoyed the day and would like to extend our thanks to everyone involved in organising and running the event, especially Rosaleen Dempsey, Treasa O Callaghan and Mark Sanderson who worked tirelessly to make it a great success.
Thanks also to everyone who came along, with more events coming up in Ireland in 2015, we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Presentation Slides:

Understanding Albinism - Prof Michael O'Keefe, Consultant Ophthalmologist

Building a Future - Young people with Albinism - Joan Curran, Educational Psychologist