Joseph Priestley

Born: 1733
Died: 1804

Occupation: Chemist, Theologist and Philosopher.

Challenges overcome: Speech Impairment

Successes, Achievements & Awards:

Joseph Priestley, born in Yorkshire in 1733, was a scientist, theologist and chemist who authored more than 150 publications. John Priestley is most famous for his contributions to chemistry as well as his liberal political and religious work.
John Priestly wrote a number of philosophical, political and theological essays during his lifetime. His theories on rational Christianity and Laissez-Faire Economics made the English government furious and led to John Priestley’s home being attacked by protestors 1791.

John Priestley’s work with the chemistry of gases is highly regarded, before John Priestly scientists believed that the air was made up of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. John Priestly added 10 more gases to the list, including hydrogen, chloride, carbon monoxide and nitrogen. He also discovered what was later named oxygen, as well as inventing soda water.

In 1766, John Priestley was elected a member of the Royal Society of London for his electrical experiments, which included discovering that charcoal conducts electricity and the noting the relationship between electricity and chemical change.

Challenges Overcome

Joseph suffered from a speech impairment, which often affected him during preaching which he did before his science career.

Disability Definitions

Speech and Language Impairment

Speech and language impairment are basic categories that might be drawn in issues of communication involve hearing, speech, language, and fluency.

A speech impairment is characterised by difficulty in articulation of words. Examples include stuttering or problems producing particular sounds. Articulation refers to the sounds, syllables, and phonology produced by the individual. Voice, however, may refer to the characteristics of the sounds produced specifically, the pitch, quality, and intensity of the sound. Often, fluency will also be considered a category under speech, encompassing the characteristics of rhythm, rate, and emphasis of the sound produced.

A language impairment is a specific impairment in understanding and sharing thoughts and ideas, i.e. a disorder that involves the processing of linguistic information. Problems that may be experienced can involve the form of language, including grammar, morphology, syntax; and the functional aspects of language, including semantics and pragmatics.


Speech and language impairment. (2015, March 31). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10:33, May 20, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Speech_and_language_impairment&oldid=654413208

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Information sources:

Please click on the information links below to find out more.

Robert E. Schofield, ‘Priestley, Joseph (1733–1804)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Sept 2013 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/22788, accessed 13 May 2015] – Please note that you will require library subscription or a library card to access the content on this site.


Image Source: Wikicommons

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