OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES
David has, for over 30 years, been very committed to the promotion of British Sign Language and Deaf education through his campaigning, lobbying, and networking at local, national and international levels. Holder of an MBA, he is the Chief Executive of Action on Disability, a local Disabled People's Organisation, after six successful years at the British Deaf Association, where he was Chief Executive and Director of Campaigns and Communications.
David was also lead author of several BDA policy documents including the UNCRPD Shadow Report (2017); House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act and Disability; and, the Scottish Parliament Select Education Committee paper on Deaf education.
David's political career started in 1990 when he was elected Britain's first Deaf BSL-using Borough Councillor. He was appointed as an advisor to Paddy Ashdown, then Leader of the Liberal Democrats, for two years before co-founding the Liberal Democrats Disability Association. He later stood for Parliament as the first Deaf BSL-using candidate in British political history, and, in December 2019, stood again in East Hampshire. He is one of the Party's key influential people, working closely with the Party President, Leader, MPs, and Peers. He was named as one of Britain's top five most influential disabled people in politics in the Shaw Trust's 100 Power List in 2018.
David's dream is see a UK-wide BSL Act passed in the UK Parliament after the successful work by BDA Scotland for the BSL Scotland Act in 2015. David always says, "Anything is possible - we have to be united, not divided, and, to fight for our rights until we see a new BSL Act!". David believes this will be possible with the BDA and by working with our BSL allies and supporters to lobby Westminster.
Lesley Davidson is a Deaf BSL user. A long-time member of the BDA, Lesley was assistant secretary for the BDA South Regional Council over 30 years ago.
A teacher with over 30 years experience, Lesley has taught BSL, BSL linguistics, and elements of the postgraduate BSL/English interpreting diploma. At the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston, Lesley taught on the BA BSL and Deaf Studies course.
Lesley gained her MA in Personal Experience Narratives in the Deaf Community: Identifying Deaf-World Typicality, and, has presented workshops on her studies.
When working with CACDP (now known as Signature), Lesley created a national curriculum and BSL homework video clips. She is also a qualified trainer of trainees and taught Deaf adults to become qualified BSL teachers at the City Lit in London in 2019.