Dr. McCay Vernon Passes Away

By BitcoDavid

From our Author’s page:
McCay Vernon is the inspiration behind DeafInPrison.com. Upon learning of Felix Garcia’s plight in Florida, Vernon contacted Joanne Greenberg about writing a book regarding the struggles of Deaf inmates. Ms. Greenberg liked the idea, but thought a Blog site may be a more effective method of reaching an audience.

McCay Vernon has worked for over fifty-five years to improve the lives of both deaf and deaf-blind individuals through his research on major medical and psychological aspects of these conditions. This research has been coupled with strong advocacy for the use of sign language, mental health services, full legal rights, improved education and better vocational services and opportunities. To this end, he has written over 200 journal articles and book chapters, 11 books and scripts for twenty documentary films on deafness and deaf-blindness. Included among them, a major contribution to “They Grow in Silence,” winner of the 1970 Public Broadcasting Award for Public Service Programs.


Dr. Vernon was known by all who worked with him as a kind and gentle man. He devoted his life to helping the Deaf, the deaf-blind and the mentally ill, particularly those behind bars. He wrote countless books and articles on a wide range of social and psychological subjects. He was a good friend to our Publisher, Joanne Greenberg, and our contributor Pat Bliss. I myself knew him when I was a child, but my memory of him fails me. In our numerous conversations during the launch phase of this Web site however, I was struck by the fact that his memory of me was much clearer.

As a child, I managed to impress a great man. I can only hope that as an adult, I’ll be able to live up to what expectations he may have had. Dr. Vernon, you will indeed, be sadly missed.

A commemorative page has been set up at https://www.facebook.com/pages/In-Honor-of-Mac-Vernon/497356137020470

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.

10 thoughts on “Dr. McCay Vernon Passes Away

  1. Felix is going to miss him. He considered him as good friend. I will let Pat relay this sad news to Felix. May he rests in peace. Felix has never received support from Deaf community or NAD for many years so bless Pat, Dr McCay and Joanne Greenberg for being there for Felix and others. They should receive Noble Peace award.


  2. Thank you so much for your kind words, both those in regards to Dr. Vernon, and those in regards to us. I know that the NAD has been almost “deaf” (if you’ll pardon the expression) to Felix’s plight. I have reached out to them on numerous occasions, and gotten no response. The Deaf community as a whole however, has been becoming more concerned about Felix. I feel DeafInPrison.com is deserving of some of the credit in that regard. We have been working like dogs, with our petition, our coverage and all our FaceBook and Twitter tie-ins. I’m beginning to see some activity in the overall – online – Deaf community.



  3. Thanks for letting me know about the Deaf community that is showing more concern for Felix. That is wonderful to hear. Thanks. I closed my account with Facebook so I am out of touch there. I know you have been working extremely hard and I can’t imagaine without you around. You are important to me and others. We need about 325 more signatures for Felix. Hurry people! 🙂


    1. Yes! 329, to be exact. So yes, hurry people! As I’ve said, Felix is currently going through a clemency process. Pat Bliss is keeping me posted on how that’s going – slow, and bureaucratic. We want to time the arrival of the petition with this process. As well as Pam Bondi, Gov. Rick Scott and the two Florida cabinet members, we have decided to CC the clemency committee and Felix’s attorney. Everyone who can have influence on Felix’s case, will receive a copy.

      On another note, I contacted the Innocence Project of Florida, who replied that they were aware of Felix’s case, and that attorneys (not theirs) were already working on it. They said they’ve been consulting with them, though. I also contacted all the major media outlets – none of whom, even bothered with a reply. I guess an innocent Deaf man doing life isn’t as important as Miley Cyrus dancing with a foam rubber finger. 😦


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