The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) congratulates Dr. Liisa Kauppinen, Honorary President of the WFD, on the award of an honorary doctorate from Trinity College Dublin on Saturday, 29 June, 2013. Liisa is recognised for her enduring work and achievements in advocating for the human rights of deaf people globally. Dr. Liisa Kauppinen is believed to be the first deaf woman to have received three honorary doctorates. The WFD could not be more proud of her accomplishments.
Liisa is a long-time international deaf leader who brought deaf issues and concerns to international attention. She was also very involved in advocating for recognition of sign languages in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Liisa is truly an extraordinary woman, one who has served the World Federation of the Deaf for more than 30 years. She has a long history of work with the WFD and has assumed different roles, being promoted to key positions such as WFD General Secretary and then WFD President.
In 1987 as WFD General Secretary, she led the relocation of the WFD Secretariat to Finland. By 1995 she was elected the first female president of the WFD. As president Liisa increasingly represented the WFD in various meetings at the United Nations.
Liisa ended her term as WFD President in 2003. Though now retired, she continues to involve herself in WFD developments as an expert advisor at the WFD Secretariat in Helsinki, Finland, the country where she was born and raised.