The International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) was saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Ms. Elena Down, a self-advocate, activist and advisor who worked to promote the rights of persons with disabilities. Elena was a Senior Technical Advisor on Disability Inclusive Development at CBM Australia, based in Melbourne, and previously served as a Human Rights Officer with the WFD.
In her capacity as WFD Human Rights Officer, Elena worked closely with a number of organisations of persons with disabilities around the globe, and particularly in the Pacific Region. During her term with WFD, Elena wrote a number of submissions and statements, which highlighted the concerns and priorities of Deaf Communities around the world with a focus on human rights and sign language.
IDA and WFD extend their deepest sympathies to Elena’s family, colleagues and friends. Elena’s hard work, commitment and advocacy will remain in the institutional memory of the work and soul of the global disability community.
Her spirit will live on in our hearts.