It is with great sadness that we learnt that our Director Councillor Lynn Jeffries has passed away. Lynn was a hugely committed equality campaigner and established York Independent Living Network (YILN) to give disabled people in York a voice, influence decisions that affect our lives and to provide services that enable us to lead our lives to the full.
Lynn worked tirelessly to gain recognition for disabled people as equal citizens and for local authorities, businesses and voluntary organisations to work with disabled people to achieve this.
The slogan of the disability movement “Nothing about us Without Us” was very much at the heart of Lynn’s spirit and there was little that could rile her as much as decisions being made without involvement of disabled people; and as a consequence disabled people would be worse off, opportunities to do things better were missed or money wasted on the wrong solutions.
But as well as challenging people’s attitudes and language in relation to disabled people, Lynn was also very supportive of individuals and organisations who wanted to make a positive change. Lynn always stood ready for disabled people and in particular encouraged young people to speak out and to join YILN.
YILN is hugely indebted to Lynn and we will build on her legacy to achieve disability equality in York. Our thoughts are with her family and friends who have lost a passionate woman too early.