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Roger Jefcoate CBE

Roger was a member of the team that developed Possum at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, in the 1960s. Possum was the first remote control system for severely disabled. Roger went on to initiate several national charities, including:

  • Mobility Trust (founded in 1972 to develop special road vehicles for severely disabled people, and providing powered wheelchairs, building on the work of the electronic laboratories at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital,
  • The Disability Aid Fund which provides a wide range of technology, such as adapted computers and communication aids, for people with physical, mental or multiple disabilities or hearing or visual impairment,
  • The National Association of Toy and Leisure Libraries for children and adults with special needs,
  • Canine Partners (providing highly trained assistance dogs for disabled people),
  • Ability Net (free advice, assessments and support for disabled computer users); and
  • ME Research UK, a charity with the principal aim of commissioning and funding scientific (biomedical) investigation into the causes, consequences and treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also known as ME/CFS).

In addition to this, Roger is actively involved in many other charities and institutions in and around Aylesbury and the south Buckinghamshire area, including London Youth’s Activenture program at its Woodrow High House residential centre in Amersham. (This is a program which the Wheelwrights Company has previously supported through charitable donations.)

Roger was the Open University’s first technology for disability adviser and was awarded an Hon MA by the Open University in 1980. He was awarded the CBE in 1998 for services to disabled people. In 2006, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (BCUC) in recognition of his lifetime work promoting assistive technology for disabled people.

Roger is also a Liveryman of the Drapers Company

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