Mr Victor (Vic) Finkelstein

We are very sorry to have to report the death, on 30 November 2011, of Mr Vic Finkelstein, former Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the School of Sociology and Social Policy.

Vic Finkelstein grew up in South Africa but was later imprisoned for his involvement in anti-apartheid activities.  He came to the UK in 1968 and, as academic, activist and author, became a prominent champion of the interests of, and equality for, disabled people.  A disabled person himself, he and Paul Hunt co-founded the Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation in 1972. The two of them are credited with originating what was to become known as the Social Model of Disability. This promoted the emancipation and equality of disabled people through access to mainstream services and support.

Vic Finkelstein's ideas were highly influential in the development of a range of movements, groups and legislation designed to better the lot of disabled people. He taught at the Open University and also had close links with colleagues in the School of Sociology and Social Policy and the Centre for Disability Studies here at Leeds who shared his interests. To mark this association, the University bestowed the title of Visiting Senior Research Fellow upon Mr Finkelstein.

The funeral will take place at Golders Green Crematorium on Tuesday 13 December at 3.00pm. Afterwards there will be a reception at the Holiday Inn, Henleys Corner. There are no flowers but donations will be to the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

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