The Full Wiki

Joey Deacon: Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph John "Joey" Deacon (24 May 1920 - 3 December 1981) was a British author and television personality.

Contents

Biography

Joseph "Joey" Deacon was born with severe cerebral palsy, a neurological condition which left him with a muscular "spastic pattern", particularly arms and legs, resulting in a tendency of muscular tonus in the form of flexion of arms and extension of legs. This prevented fine motor control in movements of hands and arms, and meant that although he could walk with assistance, he used a wheelchair for most of his life. This also rendered his speech unintelligible to all except a few. He was institutionalised as a child and later worked making shoes in sheltered accommodation. Because he was unable to communicate freely, he was assumed by some to be mentally subnormal. However, with the help of his friends Ernie Roberts, Tom Blackburn, and Michael Sangster he was able to write a short book, part autobiography, part memoir, called "Tongue Tied", published by Mencap as a part of their Subnormality in the Seventies series. The book gave a rare, if not unique insight into the often-disregarded lives of people with disabilities at the time. With royalties raised from book sales and donations, Deacon and his friends bought a home for themselves.

Early life

His mother had a fall during pregnancy, which was the apparent cause of Deacon's cerebral palsy[1 ]. Always believing him to be intelligent, she would ask him to count the motor cars passing at the front of their house, to which Joey would respond by blinking for each car that passed.[2] During his childhood in hospital, he proved his intelligence several times in tests, using non-verbal communication such as blinking or pointing with his nose.

Deacon had unspecified operations on the backs of his legs at St. Childe's Hospital when he was about four, but these were not successful[1 ]. His mother died of consumption (Tuberculosis) when he was six and Joey was raised by his grandmother. Aged eight, following several more operations, he was admitted to Queen Mary's Hospital, Carshalton, then transferred six months later to Caterham Mental Hospital (later known as St Lawrence's Hospital), where he remained for the rest of his life[3]. He remained in contact with his father until his father's death in 1939[1 ].

Tongue Tied

In 1970, Deacon began to write his autobiography with three friends. Ernie Roberts (who also had cerebral palsy), had been in hospital since the age of ten, and was able to understand Deacon's speech. Roberts listened to Deacon's dictation and repeated it to another patient, Michael Sangster, who wrote it down in longhand. After proof-reading by hospital staff, it was typed by a fourth member of the team, Tom Blackburn, who could neither read nor write, but taught himself to type in order to help. The resulting forty-four page book took fourteen months to write.

Later life

The four men formed an inseparable group in the hospital for decades, and in 1974 their relationship was the subject of a Prix Italia and BAFTA award-winning drama documentary for British television's Horizon written by Elaine Morgan and directed by the late Brian Gibson, entitled Joey and another for Blue Peter (see below).

Royalties from the book and donations raised enough money for the four to move to a bungalow in the Caterham hospital grounds in 1979, where they were able to live more independently. After Deacon died two years later, aged 61, Blackburn and Roberts moved to a house outside the grounds, where they lived with support from caregivers.

Blue Peter and cultural impact

In 1981, the last year of his life, Joey Deacon was featured on the children's magazine programme Blue Peter for the International Year of the Disabled. He was presented as an example of a man who achieved a lot in spite of his disabilities. However, despite the positive light in which the programme's editor was trying to present his story, the impact was not as intended. The sights and sounds of Joey's distinctive speech and movements had a lasting impact on young viewers, who quickly learnt to imitate them. Joey's name and mannerisms quickly became a label of ridicule in school playgrounds across the country. Nonetheless, many who were children at that time now look back on him rather fondly.

The second series of cult UK comedy series Spaced also contains a quick "Joey" reference, when Tim tells Daisy to "Get off me, you Joey!".

Posthumous impact

In 1982 Joey Deacon's story was the subject of a paper by D.Ellis in the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, describing how after fifty years' residence in an institution for the mentally handicapped, a new strategy was devised by which Deacon's intelligence could be assessed; the strategy showed that he had had a normal level of intelligence. The assessment strategy is described and some of the implications are discussed.[4]

Bibliography

  • Deacon, Joey (1974). Tongue Tied. Fifty years of friendship in a subnormality hospital, Nat. Soc. for Mentally Handicapped Children, ISBN 0-85537-017-3
  • Deacon, Joey (Reprint). Tongue Tied. Fifty years of friendship in a subnormality hospital, Mencap Publications, ISBN 0-85537-077-7

External links

Several websites are dedicated to the memory of Joey Deacon, often in questionable taste, however some which mock his Blue Peter appearance and delight in the cultural impact often show respect or compassion for Deacon himself.

References


Joseph John "Joey" Deacon (24 May 1920 - 3 December 1981) was a British author and television personality.

Contents

Biography

Joseph "Joey" Deacon was born with severe cerebral palsy, a neurological condition which left him with a muscular "spastic pattern", particularly arms and legs, resulting in a tendency of muscular tonus in the form of flexion of arms and extension of legs. This prevented fine motor control in movements of hands and arms and meant that although he could walk with assistance, he used a wheelchair for most of his life. This also rendered his speech unintelligible to all except a few. He was institutionalised as a child and later worked making shoes in sheltered accommodation. Because he was unable to communicate freely, he was assumed by some to be mentally subnormal. However, with the help of his friends Ernie Roberts, Tom Blackburn, and Michael Sangster he was able to write a short book, part autobiography, part memoir, called "Tongue Tied", published by Mencap as a part of their Subnormality in the Seventies series. The book gave a rare, if not unique insight into the often-disregarded lives of people with disabilities at the time. With royalties raised from book sales and donations, Deacon and his friends bought a home for themselves.

Early life

Always believing him to be intelligent, his mother would ask him to count the motor cars passing at the front of their house, to which Joey would respond by blinking for each car that passed.[1] During his childhood in hospital, he proved his intelligence several times in tests, using non-verbal communication such as blinking or pointing with his nose.

Deacon had unspecified operations on the backs of his legs at St. Childe's Hospital when he was about four, but these were not successful[2]. His mother died of consumption (Tuberculosis) when he was six and Joey was raised by his grandmother. Aged eight, following several more operations, he was admitted to Queen Mary's Hospital, Carshalton, then transferred six months later to Caterham Mental Hospital (later known as St Lawrence's Hospital), where he remained for the rest of his life[3]. He remained in contact with his father until his father's death in 1939[2].

Tongue Tied

In 1970, Deacon began to write his autobiography with three friends. Ernie Roberts (who also had cerebral palsy), had been in hospital since the age of ten, and was able to understand Deacon's speech. Roberts listened to Deacon's dictation and repeated it to another patient, Michael Sangster, who wrote it down in longhand. After proof-reading by hospital staff, it was typed by a fourth member of the team, Tom Blackburn, who could neither read nor write, but taught himself to type in order to help. The resulting forty-four page book took fourteen months to write.

Later life

The four men formed an inseparable group in the hospital for decades, and in 1974 their relationship was the subject of a Prix Italia and BAFTA award-winning drama documentary for British television's Horizon written by Elaine Morgan and directed by the late Brian Gibson, entitled Joey and another for Blue Peter (see below).

Royalties from the book and donations raised enough money for the four to move to a bungalow in the Caterham hospital grounds in 1979, where they were able to live more independently. After Deacon died two years later, aged 61, Blackburn and Roberts moved to a house outside the grounds, where they lived with support from caregivers.

Blue Peter and cultural impact

In 1981, the last year of his life, Joey Deacon was featured on the children's magazine programme Blue Peter for the International Year of the Disabled. He was presented as an example of a man who achieved a lot in spite of his disabilities. Despite the sensitive way in which Blue Peter covered his life, national publicity though led to the adoption of the phrase "Joey Deacon" as a playground taunt or insult popular throughout the 1980s and into the present day.

Posthumous impact

In 1982 Joey Deacon's story was the subject of a paper by D.Ellis in the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, describing how after fifty years' residence in an institution for the mentally handicapped, a new strategy was devised by which Deacon's intelligence could be assessed; the strategy showed that he had had a normal level of intelligence. The assessment strategy is described and some of the implications are discussed.[4]

Bibliography

  • Deacon, Joey (1974). Tongue Tied. Fifty years of friendship in a subnormality hospital, Nat. Soc. for Mentally Handicapped Children, ISBN 0-85537-017-3
  • Deacon, Joey (Reprint). Tongue Tied. Fifty years of friendship in a subnormality hospital, Mencap Publications, ISBN 0-85537-077-7

External links

Several websites are dedicated to the memory of Joey Deacon, often in questionable taste, however some which mock his Blue Peter appearance and delight in the cultural impact often show respect or compassion for Deacon himself.

References








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message