It is with great pleasure that the Board of DeafKidz International is able to announce the appointment of leading campaigner for Deaf rights, Colin Allen AM to its Global Ambassador team. As founder, Steve Crump, comments, this is a special moment for DeafKidz International as it works to ensure the safeguarding and protection of Deaf children globally; “It goes without saying that we are delighted to have Colin join our Ambassador team and to be working alongside our existing Ambassador, Claudia Gordon in the United States. D/deaf led and authentic, DeafKidz International is now working in seven countries globally whilst also working contractually with the likes of Oxfam, the British Council and Islamic Relief Worldwide to ensure humanitarian, development and healthcare provision is accessible to D/deaf children and young people.
“I’ve long been a supporter of DeafKidz International’s work” said Colin “and so I am pleased to be part of a movement that is looking to make a real difference to the lives of D/deaf children globally; ensuring that they able to live safely and without fear of abuse and exploitation”.
Said the Chair of DeafKidz International, Dr Liz Avital, “It’s a real privilege for us to be working with Colin who has, quite simply, advanced the human rights of Deaf people like no other. As President of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) he led the organisation through a period of unprecedented change and one that saw greater engagement with the UN system and other international human rights and international development organisations”.
Having worked closely on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for persons with disabilities worldwide, Colin will advise and support the DeafKidz team as it advocates at the highest global level to ensure D/deaf children are able to reduce their risk and vulnerability to physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect.
Colin Allen AM – Biography
Colin Allen AM has advanced the human rights of deaf people and persons with disability for over 40 years by participating politically, professionally and socially in the Deaf Community and disability sector. Colin’s extensive contribution to the Deaf Community began initially at the local level, then more broadly nationally in Australia and for the past 20 years, he has been actively involved in the international realm.
Colin is immediate past President of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) having served two terms as President from 2011 – 2019 following involvement as a Board member of the organisation since 2003. Colin is also the immediate past Chair of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) having occupied the role of Chair from 2016 – 2018. During his involvement with WFD and IDA, Colin played a key role in guiding and representing WFD and IDA’s engagement with the United Nations and other international human rights and development organisations. In 2019, IDA honoured Colin, conferring on him the title “Honorary President” for his service as the Chair of the IDA between 2016 – 2018.
Colin has designed and delivered training and presented workshops on issues related to human rights for both the Deaf Community and persons with disability in more than 70 countries in each of the major continents and has also addressed numerous international conferences as a keynote presenter.
Colin has received numerous appreciation Awards for his service. This includes being made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and in 2019, receiving the prestigious Dr Liisa Kauppinen Human Rights Award in recognition of his dedication, advocacy, leadership and contribution to the international Deaf Community.
In October 2019, Colin will commence as a Visiting Lecturer at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, USA. As a Global Ambassador to DeafKidz International, Colin will focus on the rights of deaf children, particularly their right to access information in sign language about life-important issues such as gendered based violence. “I will actively promote the mission of the organisation and use my influence to ensure the rights of deaf children, particularly young women and girls are protected. I will engage with governments and their representatives to highlight this issue and to facilitate pro-active action in this sphere”.
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