Signs of my Times


In the summer of 1957, at the end of his service in the Royal Navy, Martin Smith's local labour exchange in Exeter offered him two interviews: for a local insurance post or for a trainee welfare officer post in Leeds in the deaf and dumb department of the local Institute for the Blind and the Deaf and Dumb. For no particular reason he chose Leeds. Sixty years on he reflects on his ensuing lifelong obsession with the Leeds signing community. His forthright observations reflect a deep involvement with the issues that beset deaf people and the systems of social control and educational rigidity that ensured low expectations and poor life chances.

This is a frank autobiography interwoven with the long efforts to change attitudes. Martin expresses a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity to participate in a great adventure.

Signs of my Times
A life with deaf people
by Martin Smith
pub. 2018
ISBN 978-0-9930909-5-0
80 pages, 156 x 234mm

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