Former president of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), Dr Markku Jokinen received an honorary doctorate degree from the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Jyväskylä of Finland on 24 August 2013.
The prestigious award is given to only 15 persons each year; to persons who have excelled in their work lives, social achievements and/or educational achievements.
Other distinguished recipients of this award include the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, as well as the Ombudsman for children, Maria Kaisa Aula.
The University of Jyväskylä says they recognise Dr Jokinen’s contribution to the developments of the university’s sign language teaching department and in the program and courses for teaching sign language.
Also they add that they are aware of Dr Jokinen’s hard work with the Finnish Deaf Community, as well as internationally, giving lectures on sign language, deaf culture and deaf education all over the world.
And they acknowledge that he is one of the three honorary Presidents of the World Federation of the Deaf who had served two four-year terms, 2003 – 2011.
This is the second honorary doctorate degree that Dr Jokinen has received. He also has an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Gallaudet University in 2011 for his notable achievements as a leader of the International Deaf Community.