We have had the pleasure and honour of knowing and working with Paul over many years. He supported, contributed and added great value to the pioneering work of DEAFAX and its associated charitable and technological enterprises namely: Deaf Aspirations, GOALS4LIFE, AACT, Ability2Access, Specialkidz International, EASiTEC under the name of METEC (Medical, Educational, Technological, Enterprises Consortium).

Sadly, we were unable to attend in person The Funeral Mass of Requiem for Paul, which took place at Rochester Cathedral, Kent on Monday 27th November 2023. However, we did join in virtually via the live streaming link. Paul’s immense contribution to the field of Deaf Education featured in the service. What was also very evident was that he was a very proud father, husband and Grandad.

His family have expressed their appreciation of the many messages and kind words received since the passing of Paul’s life. We are going, through BATOD, to help commemorate Paul’s life through the creation of a memory book. Notably, Paul was the National Executive Officer of the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD) for many years until he became unwell. Even then, much of his later work was carried out from home supporting Teresa Quail who is the National Executive Officer and Magazine Editor. Paul never gave up.

By way of a tribute to Paul’s tenacity and dedication, it is also important to recognise his other numerous skills and abilities fulfilling many further roles in the field of deafness. He worked in a secondary school for deaf children where he was Housemaster; as a Peripatetic Teacher; Head of Specialist Support Services; Lecturer in Deaf Education at the University of Birmingham; Head of a primary school for deaf children and in a primary resource base. He also worked for the RNID, writing educational publications and was involved in Europe through his role as the President and Vice-President of FEAPDA (Fédération Européenne d’Associations de Professeurs de Déficients Auditifs: European Federation of Associations of Teachers of the Deaf).

Not only this but he also had had strong associations with the Ewing Foundation, Ovingdean Hall Foundation, Burwood Park Foundation and was instrumental in developing Ovingdean Hall Foundation’s Con Powell Memorial Scholarships, a programme that has seen almost 50 teachers become Qualified Teachers of the Deaf.

Between 2002-2006, Paul went onto to play a crucial role in overseeing and guiding the assessments and training for the Deaf Children Communication Aids Programme (DCCAP) programme (part of the Communication Aids Project – CAP - funded by the DfES). He was the leading member of the Advisory Board.

One of his final positions was during 2019-2022, when Paul sat on the Advisory Committee for DEAL - Digital Education and Accessible Learning. This project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, set out to focus on how best to support HE students who are deaf/hard of hearing, dyslexic, or who have English as a second or other language. It was interdisciplinary and collaborative bringing together colleagues from the Institute of Education and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Reading, who were joined by members from Deafax, AACT, and GOALS4LIFE - charitable enterprises. Paul provided invaluable insight and guidance to ensure this project was well grounded in users’ experiences.

Unsurprisingly to all those who knew Paul, the list of his connections and achievements is extensive. Below we pay reference to some of the more notable ones.

  • Member of NatSIP reference group
  • Access to Assessment and Qualifications Advisory Group (hosted by the Welsh government)
  • Ofqual’s Access Consultation Forum and External Advisory Group for equality and diversity
  • Member of consultative committee of Mary Hare/Hertfordshire University and University of Birmingham training courses for Teachers of the Deaf (ToDs)
  • Chair of DESF (Deaf Education Support Forum)
  • Secretary of CRIDE (Consortium for Research into Deaf Education)
  • President of FEAPDA (Fédération Européenne d’Associations de Professeurs de Déficients Auditifs)
  • European Federation of Associations of Teachers of the Deaf
  • Governor of Mary Hare School for Deaf Children
  • Chair of Directors of the John Townsend Trust, (Royal School for Deaf Children and Westgate College, Margate)

Paul Simpson is greatly missed by so many. His wit, kindness, love for his family, loyalty, musical talents and sheer dedication to championing deaf young people a tribute to one of life’s gentleman.