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BDA Chair tribute to the late Judith Collins

29 July 2014

It was with great sadness that we heard recently of the passing of one of the great education / research campaigners, Judith Collins. The BDA's Chair Dr Terry Riley OBE says:

“Judith Collins was one of life's unique characters. A forceful, vibrant woman who I had the pleasure of meeting on a number of occasions both in the Deaf world, and during her valuable research work at Durham University. 

"It was through this research role that I came to know Judith. She had such vigor and determination but was always patient and would always be there with a smile and a friendly nod of the head. She was always available for a sign wag and she knew everyone, and had time for everyone no matter how high or low their position, it just didn’t matter.

"She took me to task a few times when I was on the BSLTA courses, or visiting Durham University on BDA business in the old days. There were also the old LASER education seminars and conferences way back in the late 80's. 

"I believe that her work was the foundation of Bilingualism in our Deaf schools, benefiting Deaf children through the years. This has to be one of Judith’s outstanding achievements.

“She was one of a kind, and always had words of support and encouragement for everyone. We are also aware of the important role she played in the setting up of the Deaf Women’s Health project. With this she leaves behind a legacy that will remain forever. She showed great tenacity in making sure Deaf women had proper access to information that could help make life easier for them, be they suffering from a serious illness or just worrying about life in general. Deaf women always knew they had the support of Judith and others, like Lorna Allsop and Sallie Holmes. 

“Judith was one of life's great unsung heroes and we mourn her loss. We offer our sincere condolences to Judith's husband Granville and to Peter, her brother, and all of her other family and friends.

"This legacy will remain forever."