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The Great Loss of Another Champion - Lord Alf Morris

17 August 2012

The British Deaf Association (BDA) wishes to express its sadness at the loss of Lord Alf Morris of Manchester, who died aged 84 last Sunday. We would like to convey our deepest condolences to his dear wife, Lady Irene Morris, and his family at this sad time. We also want to celebrate the respected life of Alf Morris, who was appointed the first ever UK Minister for the Disabled in 1974. Throughout his life he was an active, tireless supporter and champion for the rights of Deaf and disabled people!

Lord Morris now joins the restful company of champions for the rights of Deaf and disabled people, especially his close ally, another northern Labour MP and Life Peer, the late Lord Jack Ashley of Stoke, who died about five months ago. Alf was a strong supporter of the BDA for nearly a century, being especially well known amongst Deaf people in Manchester, through his regular visits to the deaf schools and deaf clubs.

Dr Terry Riley, Chair of the BDA and fellow Manchurian recalls “he was a strong advocate for deaf and disabled people. As Minister for the Disabled he was the driving force behind the implementation of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, following the mass lobby of Parliament, led by organisations including the BDA, who, together with the regional councils laid on buses from all over the UK to carry Deaf campaigners to London. It was the first time Deaf people were actively involved in open campaigning and demonstration, actually stopping the traffic outside Westminster”.