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James Atkinson

James Atkinson (Inducted 2003)


James Atkinson could be considered one of BCI’s most remarkable graduates. The son of Leeds County Crown Attorney, Harworth Atkinson, James was born deaf.

In 1943, James graduated from the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts where he was one of five people to receive his diploma from Mrs. Grace Coolidge, wife of U.S. President, Calvin Coolidge. While attending BCI, between 1943 and 1948, James played senior boys basketball and was a member of the BCI’s Cadet Corps. James was the first deaf person to graduate from Brockville Collegiate and set the same precedent in 1952 when he graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.

He served as the Ontario Director and Assistant Editor for the Ontario Association of the Deaf. He also served as Secretary for the National Capitol Association of the Deaf, Trustee of the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf, and Law Director of the Bowling Association of the Deaf.

Mr. Atkinson enjoyed a career as an analytical chemist at the Canadian Mineral Science Laboratories, National Department of Energy, Mines and Resources in Ottawa.

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