Terry, who is now the Chief Executive of the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT), received the honour at a graduation ceremony yesterday (Tues 7 Sept 2010).
The award was presented to Terry in recognition of his outstanding contribution to broadcasting for Deaf and hard of hearing viewers and for promoting British Sign Language (BSL), through the medium of television, to a wider audience.
At the ceremony at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Terry said: “It’s a great honour to receive such a distinguished award, and it’s very humbling to follow in the footsteps of one of my heroes, Arthur Dimmock MBE who himself was awarded an Honorary degree by the University of Wolverhampton. To be honest I am gobsmacked and chuffed to bits.”
Terry spoke about the importance of British Sign Language and the power and influence television has on our lives.
The Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts was presented by the School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications, and Terry was nominated by Senior Lecturers, Joan Fleming and John Hay MBE, on behalf of their Deaf Studies and BSL/English Interpreting team.
John Hay said: “We are delighted to recognise Terry’s contribution to British Sign Language in this way. He has been active in promoting British Sign Language (BSL) to a wider audience through the medium of TV. His association with the University of Wolverhampton has been intertwined with his unstinting support of the popular Deaf TV and Film Festivals and more recently Deaffest, both annual events of national importance held at the Light House Media Centre in Wolverhampton.”
Terry has been an advocate for British Sign Language for over 40 years. Born into a Deaf family, both his parents were Deaf and sign language users. He has a wealth of experience in Deaf Television, having started in 1987 as a researcher on the BBC’s See Hear, a community programme for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, and working his way up to become Editor in 2002. He was instrumental in setting up the European Deaf TV and Video network, which now broadcasts in 20 countries including the USA, Japan, Greece and Australia.
He has been associated with the British Deaf Association (BDA) for many years and received its highest honour, the BDA Medal of Honour, for his work in promoting and empowering Deaf people. He was elected as the Chair of the British Deaf Association for 2009-2011.
Following his retirement from his role at See Hear two years ago, Terry was appointed Chief Executive of the newly established British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT).
Other notable successes include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Remark! TV Awards in 2003 and the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) Award for outstanding services to television in 1997.
In addition, Gallaudet University WORLDEAF Cinema Festival selected Terry to receive the first WORLDEAF Cinema Festival Motion Media Producer Award for 2009.
For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736