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When Kevin Fitzgerald was a kid in Collyhurst, Manchester in the 1940s, it was a completely different place from today, with its flowers, trees and grass. That is not to say that it was a bad place, despite the bomb sites and crofts. In many ways it was a good place to live, especially in Collyhurst Flats, where everybody knew each other and neighbours were always ready to help and lend a hand. As the years have all too quickly passed there cannot be many people left now who can remember the horrors of the Manchester blitz, which Kevin vividly describes in this book. Kevin had a happy childhood, playing with his mates in the streets, getting up to mischief like normal healthy kids. Tragically, all this was to change when he contracted meningitis after an accident whilst playing amongst the bomb-scarred landscape. This left him profoundly deaf and at the mercy of so-called expertsA" and the subjective dogma of the Catholic Church. Consequently, he was packed off to St John's Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, where he spent the next eight years in a state of virtual incarceration at the hands of the Church and the sisters who were its jailers. Deafness of the Mind is the story of that incarceration. It is a story that will enthral you; it will make you smile and also make you weep as Kevin recounts his life in the institution, the friends he made there and the camaraderie that was forged in those years of wartime Britain, a camaraderie that has lasted right up to the present day, nearly seventy years later. Moreover, Kevin sheds light on how generations of deaf children were treated as second class citizens, denied a proper education and eventually forced out into the world totally unprepared for life on the outside. Deafness of the Mind is a book that you will enjoy, despair at the treatment meted out to deaf children, and, undoubtedly, learn something from.
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Kevin Fitzgerald's life story is a remarkable one. Profoundly deaf from the age of six after contracting meningitis, he spent eight years in an Institution for the Deaf and Dumb before entering a post-war world with little in the way of formal education. After working as a cutter in a ladies' costume and mantle factory, he became a roofer, a job he did for 34 years despite his disability which caused balance problems. In the 1990s he worked at the Royal Mail, where the culture of bullying of deaf workers, which he deduced was the result of communication problems, led him to go to college to become a highly qualified sign language teacher for the Open College of Sign Language (OCSL). He is now the Chief Examiner of OCSL. In 1959, he married Diana, who had been profoundly deaf since birth, and they recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They have two daughters and a son, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. The whole family lives in the Middleton area of Manchester. Kevin has campaigned tirelessly for the end to discrimination for deaf people. Deafness of the Mind is his first book.
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Book Description Kevin Fitzgerald, 2010. Paperback. Condition: Good. Ex Library Book with usual stamps and stickers. Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Seller Inventory # mon0007237289
Book Description -. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Deafness of the Mind: The Forgotten Children of Boston Spa This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Seller Inventory # 7719-9780956475602
Book Description Kevin Fitzgerald 01/04/2010, 2010. Paperback. Condition: Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 2341-9780956475602
Book Description Paperback. Condition: Fine. Seller Inventory # GOR008377169
Book Description Paperback. Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # GOR003589145
Book Description Kevin Fitzgerald 01/04/2010, 2010. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 6545-9780956475602