Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lord Ashely Passes

A champion for the deaf in the UK has died. Lord Jack Ashely of Stoke, was deaf himself. He died at the age of 89 after a short illness. Lord Ashely became a member of the British Parliament in 1966., losing his hearing the next year after an operation on his ears. But he remained a member of the governing body for 26 years. He established the All Party Disablement Group, which became the All Party Parliamentary Disability Group. He later founded the charity Defeating Deafness, now the Deafness Research UK). Gallaudet University gave him a Doctor of Humane Letters in 1975 for his efforts on behalf of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons. In 1987, he served as president of the RNID, which later became Action on Hearing Loss and in 1994 on the UK Council on Deafness. He lobbied for passage of the Disability Discrimination Act. In 1994, he received a cochlear implant. In retirement, he continued to work for improved captioning.