Face Blind UK aims to: “to work across the UK to raise awareness, recognition and understanding of face blindness (prosopagnosia), and to provide services to people who have face blindness, including information, networking and support.” The organisation’s approach to its work is laid out in its Vision and Values Statement.
Brought together by the London Faceblind Group, are a group of individuals who are committed to increasing understanding and awareness of the condition. Together we have set up Face Blind UK as a Community Interest Company, and are working to provide information through talks and campaigning, via leaflets, factsheets and this website.
Photo: Face Blind UK Directors – (from left to right) Jo LIvingston, Monica Zenonos, Angie Gosling, Hazel Plastow
Jo was originally qualified as a chartered librarian and later worked as an IT lecturer – she’s now retired. She was actively involved in environmental campaigning for over twenty years, including three public inquiries.
Since 2006, when her face blindness was diagnosed, she’s been raising awareness of the condition through talks, first with special needs teachers throughout London and more recently through talks to U3As, WIs etc across south-east England. In 2012 Jo edited a book, ‘What It’s Like to be Face Blind’, a compilation of stories from around the world, and has also taken part in a variety of media interviews. She’s been a member of the London Faceblind Group since it started in 2011.
Monica has had careers in both Further Education and NHS. She has been actively involved in patient involvement and designing and delivering training for all levels of health professionals since 2001. In 2007 she was a founder member and co-chair of the National PALS Network; a registered charity which provided support and information to all NHS PALS services across the UK.
Monica was diagnosed with Developmental Prosopagnosia in 2007 and re-trained as a counsellor and psychotherapist – MA (Psych). She started the London Faceblind Group in 2011 and has been involved in raising awareness about Faceblindness ever since. She has taken part in a BBC documentary, provided interviews and contributed to resources about Faceblindness for the Open University. She published an article aimed at psychotherapists and counsellors about Faceblindness in June 2014.
Angela is an associate member of the Brain and Behaviour Lab. She is also a lecturer in Psychology and a member of the ‘Face Processing’ research group at Bournemouth University. Previously, Angela worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Birkbeck College on an ESRC grant, investigating the functional characteristics and neural mechanisms associated with face processing in typical and atypical populations. Before that, Angela completed an ESRC funded PhD at Goldsmith College, University of London.
Her doctoral research employed behavioural and electrophysiological techniques (EEG/ERP) to investigate the role of spatial attention in visual object identification. Angela’s MSc thesis used EEG to explore how ‘paying’ attention to visual information in the environment influences what a person can ‘see’. Angela is currently using EEG/ERPs to explore face processing abilities in people with face blindness. Angela’s research aspirations include the development of realistic rehabilitative programs for people affected by face blindness.
Hazel’s work has always had a focus around equality of opportunity, particularly within the disability field. Initially working with children as a hospital play specialist and Portage home teacher, she moved into social research at Westminster Medical School and then into information management within the voluntary sector. She led the team that developed DissBASE a disability database that was used widely across the UK, and set up the charity Social Information on Disability in 2004.
Diagnosed with prosopagnosia in 2011, and recognising the need for information and support around face blindness, Hazel is now relishing the opportunity to address this through the work of Face Blind UK.
Bob became face blind on February 8th 2008 as a result of a stroke. Bob therefore understands how difficult it is for non-face blind people to appreciate the problems the condition causes, and is slowly learning the tricks prosopagnosics use to cope.
He has taken part in tests at four universities, and is delighted to be able to contribute to scientific understanding of the condition, and to raise awareness and help others through Face Blind UK.