The Guardian has published an obituary for the Deaf and disabled rights campaigner Arthur Verney, and it’s well worth reading in order to understand his achievements and the impact he had through his work with the British Deaf Association, European Union of the Deaf, and Disabled Peoples’ International, among other organisations.
In 1980, Arthur Verney, who has died aged 70 from complications following surgery, became general secretary of the British Deaf Association (BDA). At that time it was a predominantly social and welfare charity run mostly by hearing people. Arthur was in large part responsible for transforming it into a modern campaigning organisation led by deaf people, and went on to champion the rights of deaf and disabled people across Europe.
When Arthur arrived at the BDA, there was a feeling in the membership that it needed to change, and in 1983 John (“Jock”) Young was elected its first deaf chairman. In the years that followed, deaf people only were elected to the executive council, and deaf people were appointed to senior positions.
Linguistic research in the 1970s had shown that sign languages were individual languages in their own right. British Sign Language (BSL), for example, differs from English in its grammatical structure. This recognition provided deaf people with the opportunity to redefine how they viewed themselves: as members of a linguistic minority rather than a disabled group. This perspective remains the premise on which the BDA’s work is based.
Read the full obituary here: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/18/arthur-verney
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about 6 awesome accessibility apps!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people