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Having studied business and economics at university Annabel spent most of her early working life in third sector financial management. The Royal National Institute of the Blind is where she was introduced to the extraordinary world of disability and autism, and where she met people who were to change her life forever, including Dr Adam Ockelford (now Professor of Music at Roehampton University), mentor and friend to autistic savant Derek Paravicini. She was Bursar and Business Development Manager at RNIB Redhill College where she also managed the building of the Soundscape Project, a unique £5m sensory and music building designed for visually impaired young people and those with severe learning disabilities and autism. She also worked for Autism Sussex where she helped to design and create the autism friendly Cafe des Arts in Hastings, East Sussex.