WFD President Colin Allen ends his term as IDA Chair


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Mr Colin Allen, President of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) since July 2011 and a WFD board member since 2003, will end his term as Chair of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) on June 30, 2018. He will be succeeded by Ms Ana Lucia Arellano who begins her term from 1 July 2018 for a two year period. Ms Arellano is currently President of RIADIS – The Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and their Families and is the mother of a son who has Down Syndrome. Both WFD President Allen and WFD Board member Terry Riley OBE congratulate Ana Lucia on her appointment and WFD is looking forward to continuing to strengthen the collaboration between WFD and IDA.

“I am very pleased that as a deaf sign language user, I was able to advance IDA goals and promote its vision in my own language – sign language – and through my leadership work towards the removal of barriers experienced by persons with disabilities globally, thereby pursuing and fulfilling the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

-Mr Colin Allen, WFD President

Board Elections were held in Quito, Ecuador during the recent IDA board meeting. Allen is the second deaf person to serve as the Chair of IDA, a global organisation promoting the rights of one billion persons with disabilities all over the world. The WFD was one of the founding members of IDA upon its establishment in 1999.


Colin Allen and Ana Lucia Arellano

Colin Allen and Ana Lucia Arellano

Allen wishes Ana Lucia Arellano all the very best in her new role as Chair of IDA.

“My thanks to the IDA Board for our years of work together and for giving me the opportunity to fulfil this rewarding role. I really enjoyed collaborating with my colleagues from global and regional DPOs as well as with the skilled staff members of the IDA Secretariat.”

-Mr Colin Allen, WFD President


Allen’s involvement with IDA started in 2011, when he was selected by the WFD as a board member of IDA. In 2013, he was elected Second Vice Chair; in 2015 he was elected as First Vice Chair and in 2016 was elected as Chair for a two-year term until 30 June 2018.

Allen’s past two years as Chair have been successful as he has acted as the public spokesperson of IDA and addressed a variety of events, ensuring that IDA’s political position is understood externally. These events included the CRPD Committee Session Meetings, the Annual State Parties’ Conferences of the CRPD, the Major Groups and Other Stakeholders delegation at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development where he led 22 representatives from organisations of persons with disabilities, the World Humanitarian Summit, the 2016 UN Social Forum and the UN High Level Meeting on Disability and Development in New York among others.

He has also taken on the role of Chair or Co-Chair at several high-level events internationally. This includes his role as Co-Chair of the inaugural Global Action on Disability Network meeting in 2015, 2017 and 2018, his role as Chair of 2017 ZERO Project and his role as Co-Chair for several panels, side-events and reception events on behalf of IDA. Allen has also addressed the UN General Assembly Hall for the 2017 Partnerships for SDGs on behalf of IDA.