Eric Griffiths, from Salford has been shortlisted for an award by the national disability charity, Sense. The nomination recognises his remarkable commitment to campaigning for the rights of disabled people for 37 years.
Eric, 57, who has Usher Syndrome and is deafblind, has been shortlisted for the ‘Person of the Year’ award at the annual Sense Awards. Eric lives with his partner Charlie in Salford and has been volunteering and campaigning with Sense for 37 years. He has spoken out on issues such as loneliness and accessibility in his local area. Through his campaigning, he has been invited to join the Board of Transport for Greater Manchester to share his experience of disability and provide recommendations to the council on how to improve transport accessibility.
Most recently, Eric has campaigned on the Government’s handling of the pandemic. He found the lockdown difficult as information was not presented in an accessible way, leading him and many other disabled people to feel left behind and ignored. Due to his hearing and sight impairment, he struggled to access basic services such as GP appointments and supermarkets. This left him isolated, but he remained motivated to speak out about how disabled people should be better supported in society.
Throughout the pandemic Eric also cooked and delivered meals to isolated and elderly residents in Salford. He plans to continue campaigning for the rights of deafblind people in the community.
“This is a fantastic honour for me to be shortlisted for this award, especially after this trying time with this Covid and coming out of lockdown. Thank you all. I will not stop campaigning until the voices of all disabled people are heard.”
Sense Chief Executive Richard Kramer said:
“We are delighted to shortlist Eric for the 2021 ‘Person of the Year’ Award. Eric has been an incredible Sense campaigner for many years and has spoken openly about his experience as a deafblind person. He sets an example we should all aspire to in making the world more inclusive and accessible for all.”