See below for a summary of the people working around the clock to make Deaf Aspirations’ vision a reality. Click on any of them to view their full stories and CV’s.
These are the people working around the clock to make Deaf Aspirations' vision a reality.
See below for a summary of the people working around the clock to make Deaf Aspirations’ vision a reality. Click on any of them to view their full stories and CV’s.
Originally coming from Liverpool and being partially deaf, Diane was sent to Birkdale School for Deaf Children in Southport and later attended the Mary Hare Grammar School in Newbury. After leaving school, she went to live in Oxford which was followed by her meeting and marrying Andrew Kenyon who is the other joint Honorary President of Deaf Aspirations. On taking a course in fashion modelling, she became one of London’s top ten catwalk models, modelling for the House of Dior, Fortnum and Mason, Saks of Piccadilly, and also modelled clothes by Yves St Laurent whom she met several times.
Many of her deaf friends at the time remained detached from any real communication between deaf and hearing people, were not realising their true potential in many fields, and were often regarded as second class citizens. As a result of this, a “Group” of deaf and hearing people was formed which later was called “Breakthrough”. Out of this original Group grew a whole network of groups and projects across the country, conceived and run by deaf people, with an emphasis on integration between deaf and hearing people which allowed deaf people to contribute, reach their potential, and show their amazing abilities. Diane & Andrew played a pivotal role in setting up the Breakthrough (Deaf/Hearing) Integration Trust (now known as Deaf Plus) in 1971 and then steering its success for the next 30 years until their retirement. To this day, she still gives talks on hearing loss, behaviours that allow deaf people access to real life experiences & opportunities; and talks on being a fashion model in the early ‘60’s.She is a wonderful role model and Deaf Aspirations is delighted and proud that she is one of their Joint Honorary Presidents.
Andrew was born in Accrington in 1930 to a father who was a coal miner and mother who had previously worked in the cotton mills. At the age of 9, he contracted meningitis with the result that he lost his hearing. During the war, he was placed in an institutionalised School for the “Deaf and Dumb”. He later won a place at the Mary Hare Grammar School for the Deaf; on leaving school, he went onto work for the Electricity Board in the Accounts Department where he obtained his ACCA examinations. On passing his Civil Service exams, he later worked for the Post Office.
With the inspiration of Denis Uttley, Andrew & Diane set up awareness-raising holidays for deaf and hearing families at Thorpeness. This was followed by the setting up in 1971 of the Breakthrough Trust with support from the Gulbenkian Foundation and Chase Charity. For the next 20 years, the development of this inspirational charitable company is well documented.
In 1985, Andrew was instrumental in setting up EuroAction which involved other member states and enabled deaf and hearing people to participate in some inspiring and inclusive European projects. Deaf Aspirations is very honoured to have had him as one of their Honorary Joint Presidents. He dedicated his life to breaking down barriers between deaf and hearing and was a great role model. Read Andrew Kenyon’s Obituary here.
Alan’s history with Deaf Aspirations goes right back to our roots as joint founder in 2011, along with Ken Carter, and former Chair (2011-2015). He was born Deaf and is a native British Sign Language (BSL) user. He started his career in law for a firm of solicitors in Gray’s Inn, later becoming a management accountant in a large multinational oil company but he decided to embark on a new career in Further and Community Education. He was employed in mainstream tertiary education management as Head of a BSL Unit then promoted to Head of Service for Additional Learning/Disability Support and became the lead-disability coordinator for four campuses in West London. His last employment before retirement was CEO of a local user-led disability organisation.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a foundation Chartered Manager also a Fellow of Institute of Financial Accountants A qualified teacher in Further Education and a British Sign Language Teacher, Assessor, Internal and External Quality Assurer, Alan is now a freelance consultant in education management and British Sign Language teaching and assessment. He is also a qualified Sign Language Translator, registered with the NRCPD.
Alan has a strong passion for equality campaigning as we are people first and foremost. He has been involved with organisational governance through a variety of posts on charitable boards over the last 30 years. He is currently a Governor of Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children and lead governor on equality. He is a Hon Treasurer and a Board Member of both Inclusion London and deafPlus. In addition, he is a co-Chair of London Metropolitan Police Disability Independent Advisory Board. Previous Board posts include 16 years with the British Deaf Association, including holding the post of Vice-Chair for the last three years, and Chair of many organisations including deafPlus, Ealing Deaf Image, Institute of British Sign Language and Greater London Deaf Association. He has held Board memberships for the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust, Healthwatch Ealing, Shape Arts, London Disability Arts Forum, Ealing Disability Access Forum, United Kingdom Council on Deafness, Council for Hearing Impaired Visits and Exchange, and as governor of Castlebar School (SEN) in Ealing. In addition, he was a lay member of Ealing Safer Neighbourhood Board.
His favourite volunteering role was as a Games Maker for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics at Horse Guards Parade. Passionate about the arts and a strong believer in access for all, Alan is also an Arts/Museum Guide and regularly delivers talks in BSL at the British Museum, Foundling Museum, Museum of London, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Old Royal Naval College, Tate Britain and Wallace Collection.
Alan wants to unlock Deaf people’s potential for employability, entrepreneurship and to share his belief that Deaf people can succeed in their chosen field. He was awarded an MBE for his services to deaf and disabled people and received the British Deaf Association Medal of Honour.
Hamish Rosie was born in 1940 in the Orkney Isles. At ten months old, a severe bout of meningitis left him profoundly deaf. In 1944 he became a boarder at the Aberdeen School for the Deaf and his artistic talent was discovered at the age of nine by a well-known Orcadian artist and HM Painter and Limner in Scotland, Stanley Curister. Under his influence, the Aberdeen Education Authorities were approached to allow Hamish to study at Aberdeen Grammar School. His art tutor was another reputable Scottish artist who greatly influenced Hamish. A scholarship to Burwood Park Technical School in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey followed and from there, he gained a place to Kingston-on-Thames School of Art (Kingston University) and later graduated in 1960 as an exhibition and graphic designer and an artist.
Hamish took up his first post as an assistant designer with a reputable London advertising agency and later joined Greater London Council as a senior designer. He also taught part time in typography and graphic design at Croydon College of Art and Design and ran several art projects and classes.
In 1990 Hamish retired from GLC, which gave him more time to develop his artistic talents. He continued teaching and providing art projects for children and owned a small design consultancy. From his many one-man exhibitions in Orkney, London, Surrey and Newhaven, he now has many private collectors from as far afield as USA, Canada, Iran, New Zealand and Europe.
Hamish and Morag have one deaf and one hearing children. When they were young, we felt we had do something different to change our everyday environment. We joined a deaf and hearing integration group, Breakthrough. We appreciated them for giving us some confidence to improve our communication skills with hearing people and the children benefited immensely. At the same time, Morag was given a role to run Friends for Young Deaf People of which Hamish was very much involved. Hamish loves sport but he devotes his time to his ROSIE family history research. Through the research, he found many surprises and formed new contacts worldwide! Hamish’s biography book ‘My Island’ by his close friend Maggie Gordon was published in 1999. He self published a book ‘My Passion’ about his watercolour and oil paintings.
Hamish and Morag run their utilities and telecommunications consultancy, Utility Warehouse Discount Club.
As a Joint Honorary Vice President, Hamish is looking forward to cooperating with Deaf Aspirations and their future developments”.
MA (Art Psychotherapy), MA (Psychodynamics), MA (Fine Art), BA (Hons)
Deaf since birth, Rubbena grew up in Surrey in a hearing family of Pakistani origin. Rubbena has over 15 years experience of management and training in the voluntary and statutory sectors. She has developed expertise in an extensive range of fields including disability, deafness, BME, refugees, education and mental health, and currently works as a consultant and educator on deafness, disability and inclusion. She is chair of the Deaf Ethnic Women’s Association with a particular remit for fundraising.
Rubbena graduated from St Martins College in1995 with BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting and MA Fine Art (Surrey Institute) in 1996. She is a renowned artist who has staged numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally. Since graduating from Goldsmiths’ College in 2005 and Tavistock in 2010 she has worked as a psychodynamic art psychotherapist with a special interest in BME children and young people with severe emotional and behavioural problems.
Graham has been employed by three organisations associated with deafness over a period of 31 years.
Firstly, Breakthrough Deaf/Hearing Integration (now known as DeafPlus) from 1982-1997. With the task of developing and managing two centres based in Aldershot & Farnborough with an annual turnover rising from £45,000 to £100,000 to provide an advisory service on deaf issues to the community in Surrey and Hampshire. Raising funds to purchase two Mobile Advisory Units kitted out with environmental equipment valued at £35,000 each.
Secondly, Deafax from September 1997 until he retired February 2013. Over the period he took on several middle management roles. Coordinating and monitoring the development of DeafChild UK and Deaf Adults workshops. Delivering tailor-made workshops, presentations nationwide in a range of educational establishments. His final role was as a Training Manager providing support to the training team and coordinating a programme of modular training.
Lastly, Royal Association Deaf People as part-time Office Manager Assistant from 2009 until he retired 2013. Mainly being the link between the office and deaf/hearing outreach workers working with deaf clients who have learning difficulties and other additional disabilities.
After being made redundant from Breakthrough and attaining full-time employment with Deafax . He set up a freelance consultancy to deliver Deaf Awareness and Textphone (Minicom) workshops to employers who have deaf employees.
His strengths is being a member of a team in a supporting role with acquired IT skills, office management, planning, organising and delivering a programme of modular training. He has always been seeking fresh challenges to mentor, train, motivate, encourage and nurture younger deaf people. To enable them to achieve their own goals in life, especially in acquiring new skills and obtaining employment. Being partially deaf, he fully understands that finding employment is the biggest barriers that the deaf community face in society.
He enjoys driving, travelling abroad, computing, editing videos, DIY, badminton and is an Aldershot Town Football season ticket holder.
Throughout his 60 years’ involvement in teaching and learning, Ken has developed a particular expertise in Deafness and SEN (Special Educational Needs), due in part to having a deaf daughter. He has been highly entrepreneurial helping to set up a number of charitable companies/companies limited by guarantee, namely: Deafax, Breakthrough (deaf/hearing) Integration Trust (now DeafPlus), FYD (Friends for Young Deaf People), AACT (Access-Ability Communications Technology), AACT4Children; Deafkidz International; DisabledChild-India; Specialkidz/Specialkidz International; Deaf Aspirations; Decibels/Decibels International, Ability2Access, EASiTEC (Easy Access Solutions for Inclusion, Technology, Education and Communication); GOALS4LIFE Global Online Assisted Learning & Support) & all of which are operating locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
His school career took him to Millfield, an enterprising International School, having been awarded a sports scholarship. He was in the Royal Marines on National Service and travelled extensively. During his academic career he studied at Loughborough University, London University and the University of Surrey.
His teaching and lecturing appointments has taken him to Public and State Schools, the Berkshire Education Audiology Service, City Literary Institute Centre for the Deaf, Bulmershe College of Higher Education now the Institute of Education, University of Reading where he was the Research Director of the Reading Consortium Support Services. At the same time, he was responsible for setting up the National Network and European Bureau of Deaf Students. He was an Associate Professor at the National Centre on Deafness, California State University, Northridge, Los Angeles.
One of his many attributes has been to network extensively throughout the world with individuals associated with Information & Computer Technology, Politics, Music, Companies/Foundations and Academics who have helped enormously to enhance his pioneering work mainly in the field of Innovative Technologies and Inclusion. Probably the most influential person has been Dr Vinton Cerf, the architect/inventor of the Internet and Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist who is now Deafax’s Honorary President.
Born severely deaf, Stewart is a highly professional accountant and financial strategist, with experience in various senior managerial roles across the business and charitable sectors. Stewart began working life just before turning 17 for a precast concrete manufacturing family business, where he gained a wealth of experience in a number of roles before later becoming a Director, with responsibility for running the accounts department.
In 1991, Stewart began working in the charitable sector for Breakthrough Deaf-Hearing Integration, where he started at the Farnborough Centre and later progressed to become Finance Manager at the Greenwich and Whitechapel Centres. Stewart was then appointed National Accounts Manager for Breakthrough, based at the Birmingham Centre.
Following his expertise in spreadsheet reporting and using the TAS Books accounting system, Stewart was co-employed by Deafax in 1998, before transferring to Deafax on a full-time basis in 2001. At Deafax, Stewart ran the Accounts Office and had an active role as part of the Senior Management team, where he reported to major funding bodies, such as the National Lottery and BBC Children in Need. In this role, he also contributed in terms of financial planning, budgeting, management thinking and practical expertise. In 2006, Stewart moved away from charitable operations and has since worked self-employed, including operating TAS Books and liaising with auditors for a dental practice in Essex.
As a child, Stewart experienced the benefits of technology in combating his deafness and supporting his education, particularly in helping him to adapt and overcome the challenges of entering mainstream education at a hearing school, Halliford School, Middlesex, from the age of twelve, which was unique for a deaf child in the late 1960s. He is passionate about deaf and hearing integration – across both older and younger generations – and using the latest technology to give greater choice and opportunity for those with all levels of hearing loss to improve their quality of life.
Sandra was born 3rd generation profoundly deaf and prelingually deaf, to deaf parents and grandparents. She attended Mill Hall and Mary Hare Grammar School before gaining a BA degree in Education from Bulmershe College, Reading, and has completed PGCE and ToD courses at the University of Hertfordshire.
With a lifelong passion about deaf education for children in the UK and around the world, Sandra has taught deaf adults life-skills, functional literacy and numeracy at the City Lit for 5 years and has been a teacher of the Deaf for the past 29 years. She has worked for 26 years at Frank Barnes as a Classteacher, Senior teacher, Team Leader, and Assistant headteacher for the last 8 years, and has covered roles such as staff development, parent partnership initiatives, secondary transition, chairing EHCP meetings, establishing the family communication scheme, mentor for newly qualified teachers, Teachers of the Deaf and HLTA staff.
Sandra has taught Deaf children literacy in Sri Lanka for 3 months, created and delivered teaching and learning training for 85 teachers/managers/co-ordinators for one year in India under Deaf Child Worldwide (NDCS), and delivered the “Raising a Deaf Child” parenting skills course for parents of Frank Barnes school. She currently works as a freelance cover teacher, as an EYFS trainer, supporting families in their homes and supporting potential overseas projects in the pipeline.
Ilan was born deaf and originally from London. At the start of his career, he was a computer programmer for several years before changing career and becoming a freelance actor, working on stage and TV, in the 1990s and 2000s. He seldom acts these days but has been employed by the University of Reading since 2011, working within the BA Theatre Arts Education and Deaf Studies (TAEDS) degree programme for Institute of Education (IoE) until the closure of the TAEDS degree programme in 2018. He focused on the signed theatre monologues, deaf studies, drama education for pupils with Special Needs.
In parallel with acting, he has been teaching for just over 2 decades, initially drama, before for a short spell teaching mathematics at a Special Needs school in Birmingham. At around the same time, he began teaching BSL, in conjunction with Linguistics, Deaf Awareness, History, Culture and Politics at various training centres in the UK.
Following the demise of the BA TAEDS course, Ilan started working with the Department of Languages and Culture (DLC) and playing a key part in the creation and development of the new BSL stages 1,2 & 3 as an optional module for any degree at the University of Reading. He continues at IoE lecturing on ‘Inclusion within education’ and ‘Education of deaf children’
Having graduated with BSc Mathematics in 1988, he then obtained a PGCE in 2013. Currently, he is a part-time PhD student looking at the Employability of Deaf adults; and separately is part of the Leverhulme-funded research project looking at Assistive Technology supporting deaf, dyslexic and ESOL students.
Andrew Godley is Professor of Management and Business History in the Henley Business School, University of Reading, and Director of the Henley Centre of Entrepreneurship. He joined Reading as a Lecturer in Economics in 1991, before completing his doctorate in Economics and Economic History at the London School of Economics. He has held visiting positions at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and the European University Institute, Florence. He is currently the Co-Director of the Reading-Zhejiang Sino-British Entrepreneurship Research Centre at Zhejiang University.
His research focuses on the theory and historical evolution of entrepreneurship, with empirical work focusing on the food, pharmaceuticals and retailing sectors. He has over 100 publications, including 13 books (and journal special issues) and articles published in journals including Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Journal of Management Studies,Business History Review, Business History, Economic History Review and Journal of Economic History. He currently sits on the executive committee of the World Business History Conference, and on the editorial board of Business History.