It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of the founding members of Able Australia, Eddie Keir. Edmond Keir, known to us all as ‘Eddie’, passed away surrounded by family on 16 July 2020 after a prolonged illness. Eddie is survived by his wife Di, daughters Lainey, Jenny and Dee and grandchildren Anika, Tarryn, Elliott and Marnie.
Eddie Keir is remembered for his dedication to people with multiple disabilities and in particular to those who were deafblind. Eddie worked as an audiologist and was the Head of the Department of Audiology at The Royal Children’s Hospital from 1960 – 1997. Eddie headed a support group for parents of Rubella babies and in 1967, along with these parents and other professionals, formed The Victorian Deaf Blind and Rubella Children’s Association which later became The Deafblind Association and is now the organisation known as Able Australia.
Eddie Keir’s direct association with Able Australia spanned over 45 years, serving as a Board member and also as Board President during this time. Eddie only stepped down from his Board role in October 2012.
In recognition of Eddie’s enormous contribution, he was made a Life Governor of Able Australia and received The Anne Sullivan Award – given to professionals who have committed themselves to furthering the education and development of individuals with deafblindness.
Eddie was known as an extraordinary man who influenced the lives of many, including parents, children, students and professionals. He continued to work with children and adults up until his illness two years ago. Eddie’s memory will live on in everything he accomplished throughout his life and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family.