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Asif Iqbal MBE, president of the Harrow Asian Deaf Club listed as one of the most influential disabled people
The president of a deaf charity has been voted as one of the 150 most influential disabled people in the country.
Asif Iqbal MBE, president of the Harrow Asian Deaf Club, came 103rd in the list compiled by Disability News Services.
The club supports people in the borough with hearing conditions and also offers help to young people with their education, from school to university.
Mr Iqbal said: “Honestly I did not expect to see my name on of one of the top 150 influential disabled people in the UK, which also include Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Professor Stephen Hawking. They are far more well-known and I am just a newcomer by comparison.
“Truly, it was certainly a great honour to gain recognition of my variety of work and the span of my career.
“I will continue to inspire others and show people that if I can achieve, then they, especially young deaf children, can achieve their dreams too.”
Mr Iqbal, who was born deaf, has been working with the Harrow Asian Deaf Club since 2009 and says there are still challenges facing deaf people.
He said: “For deaf people in Harrow, communication and lack of awareness is the biggest barriers.
“For many deaf people, accessing local services, there were no opportunity for deaf people to be involved, to represent their community in sharing their voices on the lack of access.
“Deaf awareness is essential to enable people to understand how barriers impacted on the quality of life of many deaf people that many people take for granted and to take appropriate steps to address those gaps.
“Most of all, it is the positive attitudes that cost nothing but would make huge difference if people are willing to engaging with deaf people and asking their views on services that affect them.”
During his time helping the club, Mr Iqbal says his proudest achievement was organising the Diamond Jubilee celebration which drew huge crowds and featured a display from Deaf Bollywood dancer Nehal Bhogaita.
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