Francisco Vañó Ferre

Portrait of Francisco Vano

Mr. Francisco Vañó Ferre has been involved in the Third Sector for more than thirty years. He was the first wheelchair user National Representative in the National Council of Spain.

Since he became injured in 1971, he has collaborated with different areas regarding disability. He was President of two of the main associations within the Spanish disability environment: ASPAYM (National Paraplegic Association) and PREDIF (National Physical Disability Representative Platform). He was also an official advisor for CERMI.

From 2004 to 2015, he was elected as National Representative, and the Spokesperson for the Spanish Commission for Integral Disability Policies, and member of both the Social Affairs and the International Cooperation Commissions. He has focused in all aspects of the life of persons with disability, not only within physical disability, making great allies and partners in all kind of associations around the country, and even around Europe and international levels.

He is also the author of one of the bestselling books regarding disability in Spain (Perdonen que no me levante, Excuse me for not standing up) as well as the common sentence used as a summary of a proper rehabilitation: “One is cured when the chair is no longer in your head, but below your bottom”. He is also an expert in Spanish Forum of Justice and Disability from the General Council of Judicial Power, and board member of four of the main foundations regarding disability.

Mr. Vañó has been condecorated with important distinctions (Golden Cross of the Civil Order of Social Solidarity of Spain, Diplomat Friendship Medal of the Government of Taiwan, Golden Medal of the Spanish National Paraplegic Society ASPAYM, and Honorary President of COCEMFE Castilla y León). He was also awarded with the 21 Global Love of Lives Award from the CTK Foundation in Taiwan, in September 2018.

He has recently been appointed ‘Official Friend of Disability’ from the Spanish Representative Committee of People with Disability (CERMI).