Fifth IDPP Annual Meeting Co-Hosted by UM and MMU
IDPP held its Fifth Annual Meeting (#idpp2015) co-hosted by University of Malaya and Multimedia University in Cyberjaya, Malaysia from 1-15 August 2015. This year’s event brought together high-level leaders from across ASEAN and around the world in disability rights, public policy, international development, ASEAN affairs, technology and education from IDPP’s partnership network of 20 universities and four outreach organizations; faculty; current and incoming IDPP Fellows; alumni; and staff. This year’s meeting featured the participation of Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, IDPP honorary chairman and former secretary general of ASEAN; Mr. Takeju Ogata, president of The Nippon Foundation; Ms. Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, disability advisory at The World Bank; and a number of subject matter experts.
The two-week event included a series of high-level meetings, including the Fifth IDPP Advisory Board Meeting; Inaugural Planning Discussion on the ASEAN University Network Disability and Public Policy Thematic Network (AUN-DPPnet); Multistakeholder Roundtable on Disability and Development; and Research Symposium, Accessible Technology Expo, and “We Speak Accessible Code” Event.
The Annual Meeting began on 1 August with a day of introductory sessions to IDPP and its partner masters programs at Ateneo de Manila University and Multimedia University, which included presentations from Executive Director Dr. Derrick Cogburn; Dr. Alma Salvador, assistant professor at Ateneo de Manila University’s Department of Political Science, who introduced Ateneo de Manila University’s MA in Political Science, Major in Global Politics Program; and Dr. Neo Mai, associate professor and program coordinator of Multimedia University Faculty of Creative Multimedia’s Master of Creative Multimedia (e-Learning Technologies) Program. Dr. Neo Mai and her colleagues Dr. Joyce Kwok Wai Jing and Mr. Simon Ang Kok Yew subsequently conducted the session “Telling Your Academic Story: Blogging with The MILE Project.”
On 2 August, IDPP led the “Digital Storytelling Workshop” facilitated by IDPP Evaluation Committee Vice Chair Dr. Marilyn Arnone, designed to introduce the techniques of effective storytelling using digital media strategies for disability advocacy and awareness-raising, including op-eds, infographics, video and more. Workshop participants received foundational storytelling principles and subsequently applied them to write their own compelling story using innovative digital media platforms. Following the workshop, IDPP faculty member and founder/director of the Center for Disability Studies and Disability Leadership at Universitas Indonesia, Dr. Irwanto, presented the Annual Meeting’s first Expert Lecture on successfully founding and managing DPOs based on his extensive experience in the field.
The Fifth IDPP Advisory Board Meeting took place on the morning of 3 August chaired by Dr. Surin Pitsuwan. The meeting gathered members of IDPP’s Advisory Board, Executive Committee, and invited guests to discuss IDPP’s progress, future plans, and discuss concrete priorities and workplans for the network’s next steps. Following the morning meeting, the afternoon convened participants for the inaugural planning discussion for the ASEAN University Network Thematic Network on Disability and Public Policy (AUN-DPPnet). Approved to move forward with the establishment of AUN-DPPnet at the AUN Board of Trustees meeting in 2014, AUN-DPPNet aims to serve as a formal coordinating mechanism by which all 30 AUN members, non-AUN IDPP partners and international partners can collaborate on disability and public policy-related research, education programs, capacity building activities, and outreach initiatives.
On 4 August, a Multistakeholder Roundtable on Disability and Development: “Building a Disability-Inclusive Ecosystem for the ASEAN Community” co-sponsored by The Nippon Foundation, Microsoft Corporation, and the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ICT) brought together key stakeholders from the government of Malaysia, private sector, higher education institutions, and disabled persons’ organizations to discuss the critical linkages between disability and public policy implementation, awareness-raising, education training programs, and accessible information and communication technologies for an inclusive ASEAN community.
The final high-level event occured on 5 August at Multimedia University: our inaugural Research Symposium, Accessible Technology Expo, and “We Speak Accessible Code” event. These simultaneous events showcased IDPP’s rich disability and public policy research, as well as raised awareness of the diverse range of assistive and accessible ICTs that can be effectively utilized to enhance inclusive education environments across the region. The Research Symposium featured presentations on IDPP’s Accessible Global Governance study and Comparative Analysis on UN CRPD Implementation in ASEAN. The Accessible Technology Expo allowed participants to explore the latest innovations in accessible software and hardware, including the accessibility of Microsoft products and iOS; screenreader software such as NVDA and JAWS; accessible content creation; and other accessible ICTs. The “We Speak Accessible Code” event, organized by Microsoft Malaysia with UNICEF participants, featured coding demonstrators. This event was part of Microsoft’s “We Speak Code” initiative to teach the benefits and basics of coding to people around the world.
The remainder of the Annual Meeting was comprised of an Expert Lecture series by IDPP’s world-class faculty and renowned subject matter experts, as well as site visits to prominent regional and national disability advocacy organizations, including SEAMEO SEN; Microsoft Malaysia; Malaysian Association for the Blind; and Malaysian Federation of the Deaf. Key Expert Lecture topics included: “International Negotiations and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” by Amb. Luis Gallegos, Senior Fellow at United Nations Institute for Training and Research and Chairman of G3ICT; “Disability and Development” by Dr. Louis Goodman, Professor and Dean Emeritus of American University’s School of International Service; “The World Bank and Disability-Inclusive Development” by Ms. Charlotte McClain-Nhalpo, Disability Advisor at World Bank Group; and “Disability Policy and Implementation of the UN CRPD in Malaysia” by Senator Bathmavathi Krishnan of the Upper House Parliament of Malaysia.