7 May 2012

Dear Sir/Madam,

The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) seeks expressions of interest from individuals desiring to serve as WFD experts together with other specialists in different fields of expertise. For a closer look at all the names of the expert and ad hoc working groups, please see the application form and the call for application.

The work of the experts will be guided by Terms of Reference (ToR) set up for each group individually. The aims of the groups draw inspiration from the 2011 WFD Congress Resolution and United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The exact ToR is currently under preparation and will be finished in August. It will include concrete objectives and tasks which the group should focus on during its three-year term (September 2012-September 2015).

On a general level we can say that the expert groups will be responsible for developing statements/documents (such as updating WFD’s current policies or creating new ones), providing advice and guidance (e.g. contributing to different international human rights law documents on a specific topic such as inclusive education, deaf women etc.) and making recommendations to the WFD Board, the General Secretariat or the WFD Ordinary Members, as required. Experts may also be requested to represent the WFD in various meetings, seminars, conferences, and also to write articles to the newsletter. The expert groups report regularly to the Board of their work and performance (twice a year). WFD welcomes applications from all regions and language groups. Yet, WFD experts should have a certain level of English in order to be able to follow the expert groups’ work and to comment and contribute to requests from the WFD General Secretariat as these are in most cases in English.

Often requests for comments or contributions arrive to WFD with very short notice, thus one of the required qualities in addition to the expertise of a specific field and professional competency will be the ability of the experts to reply to inquiries within sh01t. However, expert groups work in essence via email which permits certain flexibility with regard the level of activism of each of the group members to participate in all times. Sometimes the contacts with the General Secretariat are more frequent than in other times but when the contact is made the time to respond often is limited to one week. Thus, it is of utmost importance that the WFD receives applications only from persons who are able to fully commit themselves from time to time to the WFD’s work.

I would also like to remind you that the co-ordinators and members of the expert groups will serve as volunteers and thus are not be paid or reimbursed for any expenses during their term. However, a certificate of appreciation will be granted to each of the experts. I can assure that my own experience as a former WFD Expert has rewarded me with many new contacts and learning experiences as well as good value for future work reference.

Warm regards,



Colin Allen
President of the World Federation of the Deaf

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