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Re-DEAF-ining Society

June 10, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm


Event details

How can we redefine society so that it values deaf people and communities as equals?

This question is at the heart of this workshop led by two deaf people, Dai O’Brien and Steve Emery, lecturers in British Sign Language (BSL) and Deaf Studies at York St John University.

Join us to …

  • Rediscover Leonard Motler, a deaf anarchist who was educated in St John’s Catholic School for Deaf Children in Boston Spa;
  • Reimagine local actions and politics so that they become accessible for deaf people;
  • And to discuss how we can rebuild trust, and more accessible and equal societies by considering what needs to be done to include everyone in organising activities.

The workshop will be in BSL with interpreters. Everyone is welcome!

About the speakers

Dai O’Brien is Associate Professor in British Sign Language (BSL) and Deaf Studies Programme Lead at York St John University, and the School for Education, Languages and Psychology Research and Knowledge Transfer Lead. He has a Masters degree in Deaf Studies and his PhD focused on deaf young people’s experiences of the transition to adulthood. He’s been involved in deaf communities for over 20 years and has always been interested in radical left politics. He is one of the coordinators of DeafZone, the organisation which provides BSL lessons and interpreters at the Glastonbury Festival every year.

Steve Emery is a Lecturer in British Sign Language (BSL) and Deaf Studies at York St John University. On leaving secondary education he started out working as a typesetter in the print industry for ten years. He then obtained his BA (hons) in Cultural Studies, after which he undertook ten years of various work in deaf communities, which included local community development work, counselling and advice work. After this period of employment, he undertook full-time research on deaf people’s lives in social, political and civil citizenship and was awarded his PhD in 2007. Since then, as well as having taught Deaf studies at various universities, he has undertaken project management at Citizens Advice and managed a local Deaf club in Wales. He has been involved in radical politics since the early 1980s.


June 10, 2023
11:00 am - 1:00 pm


Dai O’Brien and Steve Emery


Location:In-person only Creative Centre, York St John University
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