Dr Colin Allen

Honorary Doctorate of Letters (Hon. DLitt)

Graduation Ceremony: Thursday, 23 June, 2022

Dr Colin Allen was presented with a Doctor of Literature from the University during its Summer Graduations 2022 for contributions to the Deaf Community in both his home state and more broadly, Australia.

Dr Allen was selected for the academic honour in recognition of his career as a prominent world leader and expert in Deaf community development, human rights, and advocacy

After receiving his Honorary Degree, Dr Allen said: “I am both thrilled and honoured to receive this honorary degree in recognition of my work focussing on Deaf Human and Sign Language Rights in which my goal was and continues to be contributing to the empowerment of every deaf person around the world. The Global Deaf Community remains committed to securing legal recognition of sign languages. This is an ongoing fight as only 40% of governments worldwide have fulfilled their obligation to confer legal recognition on their local national sign language.”

Colin is a Visiting Lecturer at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). In his role at RIT, he developed a course titled “International Deaf Leadership and Community Development” which focuses on the human rights of deaf and hard of hearing people. Colin is also a contributor to the Center for International Educational Outreach. Colin served as the President of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) from 2011 to 2019.

Prior to this, Colin served as a board member for WFD from 2003 to 2011. Additionally, Colin served as Chair of the International Disability Alliance (IDA). He guided and represented the WFD and IDA in their engagement with the United Nations System and with other international human rights agencies and international development organizations.

Colin has advanced the human rights of deaf people and persons with disabilities for over 40 years through political, professional, and social involvement. His contributions to the Deaf Community began locally in his home state of New South Wales, Australia and then broadened to encompass the national Deaf Community and the international realm.

Assistant Professor Robert Adam, School of Social Sciences and Languages and Intercultural Studies, gave Colin's laureation at a ceremony held within Oriam at the Edinburgh campus.