Remembering Lynn Jeffries – Disability Rights Campaigner, York, UK, (1956 – 2014).

Made as part of York Disability Pride 2017 celebrations, this short film remembers Lynn Jeffries who played a key role in setting up York Independent Living Network ( Lynn Jeffries was a disability rights campaigner in York. She made a significant contribution to equality and inclusion work in the city. Lynn passed away aged 58 in August 2014. This film includes some memories from people who knew and worked with her.

Lynn was a champion of disability and human rights in York and many people have remarked about her power and tenacity to speak up about both individual and collective experience as a disabled person.  She was also a good enabler of others to express their voices. A key message from the people I interviewed for this film was about the importance of, when you note something not right, to say something about it. Speaking up can be a hard thing for all of us to do, but there is great value in doing so.  Getting the tone right is however another matter.

While aspects of accessibility appear to have improved for some disabled people, there are many things that still need to be changed.  And as Lynn knew getting disabled people to speak up about their everyday lived experiences of the barriers that prevent independent living can be transformational.  The more people that speak up about being left behind the more likely we are to achieve a truly inclusive and accessible future.

So in remembering Lynn Jeffries, we are reminded that in 2018 we must strive to speak up more because as she taught us, sharing our lived experience as disabled people can literally change the world.

Thanks to Ali Cowen, Marije Davidson, Keith Chapman, Rita Sanderson, Sian Balsom, Chris Edmundson and Diane Roworth for taking part.

Music by the Karen Sheader band ’08 Bar Room Bolloxs’. See here

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