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Dr Terry Riley Awarded the OBE

2 January 2014

The British Deaf Association (BDA) and the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT) are delighted that Terry Riley has been awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours List. It is fitting that this well-loved and highly respected Deaf champion has been recognised in this way.

Terry Riley said: "I am surprised but extremely honoured at this wonderful award. I see it as a tribute not only to what I have done over the past 50 years but to my colleagues and friends at the BDA, BSLBT and BBC, and especially my wife and family. I am nothing without them.”

Terry Riley was born into a Deaf family in Manchester and by the age of 15 had already been elected Secretary of the Manchester Deaf Club. He was a researcher on BBC Television’s ground-breaking programme See Hear before becoming the programme’s editor in 2002, a position he held for six years.

After retiring from the BBC in 2008, Terry became Chief Executive of the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust and later Chair of the British Deaf Association. He is a member of the board of the World Federation for the Deaf.

He said: "I see this award as an acknowledgement of the emergence of Deaf people in our society and of how deaf culture and sign language have taken their rightful place on the screen."

David Buxton, Chief Executive of the BDA, said, "We are very pleased to learn that Dr Riley is today bestowed with an OBE after five decades of actively and unselfishly serving the Deaf Community from the local to the international level, from Manchester to the every corner of the world, campaigning for sign language recognition and more equality for deaf people."

Ruth Griffiths, Executive Chair of BSLBT, said “Terry has been a forceful advocate for the highest quality in programme-making and for the development of Deaf talent both in front of and behind the camera, as can be seen from the lively and varied programmes that BSLBT commissions. The Board of BSLBT is delighted that Terry’s passion and commitment have been recognised with this honour.”