Meet Our Ambassadors

Our Ambassadors

The Organising Committee are delighted to welcome our ICED 2021 Ambassadors.

Our Ambassadors are helping us to actively promote ICED 2021 across the globe. We thank you for your valuable contribution to the Conference. 

Colin Allen AM

Colin Allen AM has advanced the human rights of deaf people and persons with disability for over 40 years by participating politically, professionally and socially in the Deaf Community and disability sector. Colin’s extensive contribution to the Deaf Community began initially at the local level, then more broadly nationally in Australia and for the past 20 years, he has been actively involved in the international realm.

 Colin is immediate past President of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) having served two terms as President from 2011 – 2019 following involvement as a Board member of the organisation since 2003. Colin is also the immediate past Chair of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) having occupied the role of Chair from 2016 – 2018. During his involvement with WFD and IDA, Colin played a key role in guiding and representing WFD and IDA’s engagement with the United Nations and other international human rights and development organisations.  In 2019, IDA honoured Colin, conferring on him the title “Honorary President” for his service as the Chair of the IDA between 2016 – 2018. 

Colin has designed and delivered training and presented workshops on issues related to human rights for both the Deaf Community and persons with disability in more than 70 countries in each of the major continents and has also addressed numerous international conferences as a keynote presenter. 

Colin has received numerous appreciation Awards for his service. This includes being made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and in 2019, receiving the prestigious  Dr Liisa Kauppinen Human Rights Award in recognition of his dedication, advocacy, leadership and contribution to the international Deaf Community.

 In October 2019, Colin will commence as a Visiting Lecturer at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, USA.

Twitter:      @ColinAllenAM

Denise Powell

I am a senior lecturer at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in the College of Education, Health and Human Development, and coordinator of the Specialist Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing teacher training programme.  Since training as a teacher of the deaf in the mid-1980s I have gained a wide range of experiences both within deaf education and the wider disability community. I have seen many changes throughout this time and strongly believe we can learn from the past to inform the future.

I was recently awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to travel overseas to investigate whether co-enrolment environments could be a possible part of the future of deaf education in New Zealand.

Donna Lene

Donna Lene is currently a senior experienced advisory teacher for students with hearing impairment in Queensland and is leading the development of live captioning in classrooms for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students throughout the state.  Prior to this, she worked in Samoa for 25 years, leading and influencing the development of Inclusive Education. She is an experienced teacher of the Deaf with a master’s degree with Merit in Educational leadership & management. In the position of Director of SENESE Inclusive Education Support Services, Samoa she collaborated with many stakeholders to develop pioneering services in early detection, diagnosis and support for children and adults who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing and their families. She enabled the first Deaf association and the first interpreters association in Samoa. Donna has presented for both Australian and Samoan governments at the United Nations in New York for The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and side events relating to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). 

Dr Kate Crowe

Dr Kate Crowe is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Iceland, and adjunct to the Center for Education Research Partnerships (National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology) and the School of Teacher Education, Charles Sturt University. She is a clinician, academic, and researcher with qualifications in speech-language pathology, inclusive education for children with sensory disability, and interpreting (Auslan/English). She is associate editor of the journal Speech, Language and Hearing and is a member of the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech.

Kathryn’s research has focused on the linguistic diversity of children with hearing loss and their families, particularly related to assessment and intervention for speech and language for multilingual children with hearing loss. She is currently involved with projects examining dual sensory loss, evidence-based interventions for multilingual children, speech and sign intelligibility, bimodal language acquisition, and professional practice. Kathryn is passionate about using evidence to inform practice when working with learners with hearing loss and making available evidence accessible to parents, teachers, and clinicians.


Joe McLaughlin

Joe McLaughlin, Ed.D, is a consultant, educator and researcher. With over 30 years’ experience in educational leadership, he has taken on various roles and responsibilities. Previously he has worked as Dean of Deaf Studies and Special Services at Ohlone College in Fremont, California, Teacher, Counsellor, Vice Principal, Principal for the Alberta School for the Deaf and Burnaby School District, Sessional Lecturer for the University of Alberta and is currently an Adjunct Professor for the University of British Columbia.

Dr. McLaughlin has held numerous memberships in various organizations and has given presentations in the area of team building, leadership skills, Deaf education, cross cultural/multicultural barriers and overcoming obstacles. He has presented in New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Singapore and England. He has had a long history of leadership positions at the local, national and international level, serving on several volunteer organizations. He played a number of key roles in the 2010 International Congress on Education of the Deaf (ICED) and International Leaders’ Summit in Vancouver, British Columbia. He also served as the chair of a sub-committee with the British Columbia Deaf Community to develop the New Era: Deaf Participation and Collaboration and had the honour of presenting at the 21st ICED opening ceremony.

In August 2019, Government of Canada (Governor in Council) appointed Dr. McLaughlin as one of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization (CASDO) which is a new organization, established by the Accessible Canada Act (C-81). CASDO will develop accessibility standards for the federal jurisdiction, in collaboration with industry and people with disabilities.

Dr. McLaughlin is a native ASL user and his research interests are social justice, Non-Profit organizations development, community consultation, and Deaf Studies.

Are you interested in becoming an ambassador for ICED 2021?

Please contact the Congress Managers at for further information.

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Key Dates

Registrations: From 18 March 2021
Call for Abstracts: Closed
Early Bird Deadline: 5 April 2021
Congress Dates: 5 – 8 July 2021