It is with great sadness that the death is announced of Stephen Bradshaw, founder member and first Director of the Spinal Injuries Association. A leading figure in the disability movement, Stephen died on 6, February in Stoke Mandeville Hospital after a short illness.
Stephen became spinal cord injured in 1967 when he broke his neck in a diving accident. Following rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville, during which time he competed successfully at the Paralympics, winning a number of Gold Medals, he resumed his career in the print industry. In 1974, he became a founder member of the newly emerging Spinal Injuries Association. Two years later, he became its first Executive Director, a position he held until 1995 when took on the role of the Association’s Director of Public Affairs. He remained in this role until he retired in 2001.
Stephen’s contribution to the disability movement was immense. On behalf of SIA, he was instrumental in the establishment of the British Council of Disabled People, now the United Kingdom Disabled People’s Council . He chaired the Rights Now! Campaign to fight for anti-discrimination legislation and his knowledge, negotiating skills, sense of fair play and ability to communicate at all levels made him a popular and well-known figure in the disability world.
Stephen’s funeral was held at Golders Green Crematorium on Friday, 24, February. His family have requested no flowers but, if wished, donations in lieu can be made to the Spinal Injuries Association.