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Remembering Sir Bert Massie

16 October 2017

Sir Bert – a champion of disability rights

Sir Bert Massie

Disability Rights UK notes with great sadness the death of one of our ambassadors Sir Bert Massie CBE who died of cancer on Sunday.

Sir Bert spent his whole life campaigning for disability rights.  On occasions, he courted controversy from sections of the Disability Movement for not being radical enough but no one can doubt the enormous contribution he has made to enhancing our rights.

Born in Liverpool in 1949, Sir Bert was educated the hard way.  The special education system having completely failed him he had to find his own way in passing exams and eventually gaining his degree.

He worked for one of our legacy charities, Radar, for many years.  He was one of the leading lights in working for civil rights legislation which was eventually realised in 1995.

Sir Bert was Chair of the Disability Rights Commission from 2000 – 2007 and was instrumental in the success of the DRC.

He was trustee of a number of organisations Motability being the one most familiar to disabled people.

He never lost his Northern roots and in fact was given the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in 2008.  He was always approachable and willing to give advice on how to navigate the system.  As well as the grass roots campaigners, we need people like Bert who could influence from the inside.  He will be missed.

Other obituaries

The Guardian

The Express

Liverpool John Moores University


Disabled Motoring UK