Machteld has a rare genetic disorder called Usher Syndrome. She shares this with 400.000 other persons. The disorder gradually changes how she sees and hears. This has changed her life forever. But it also taught her not to judge persons by their appearance.

Machteld Cossee is 38 years old, lives in Haarlem, and is a friend, mum, daughter, sister, vitality coach, honest, loyal, social, sportive and a go-getter. Her motto: nothing is what it seems.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at