CIDP Residency Provides Rich Opportunities for Inaugural Cohort
Since the residency began last week for the inaugural cohort of students from the ASEAN region entering the IDPP’s Master’s of Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) program, offered by American University’s School of International Service (AU SIS), CIDP students have been exposed to invaluable expert seminars, technology training sessions, a policy exercise, site visits to local NGOs, and weekend excursions.
CIDP students and IDPP staff meet with UNESCAP staff during a residency site visit
Professor Derrick L. Cogburn, IDPP Executive Director; COTELCO Director; and Associate Professor at AU SIS, introduced students to a policy exercise, where they are working in groups to analyze and offer suggestions of accessibility policy changes for a case study in Malaysia. CIDP students are working on this project throughout the residency period, and will make final presentations of their policy recommendations on the final day of the residency.
Additionally, seminars on specialized topics have been offered by:
Dr. Pek Koon Heng, Assistant Professor and Director of the ASEAN Studies Center at AU SIS, who spoke about the history and current successes and challenges of the ASEAN region
- Ambassador Luis Gallegos, Chairman of the Global UN Partnership for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies; Chairman of the Global Universal Design Commission; former Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States; and an IDPP adjunct faculty member in the AU SIS International Communication Program, who discussed his work on the creation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and how CIDP students can help carry out implementation of the UNCRPD
Ambassador Luis Gallegos engage with CIDP students during
his seminar on the creation and implementation of the UNCRPD
Mr. Dan Deming, Director of the Intercultural Management Institute at AU SIS, who engaged students in a discussion about cross-cultural communication
Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn, who introduced students to mixed methods research approaches
Dr. Nannette Levinson, Associate Professor and Director of the International Communication program at AU SIS, who spoke about social entrepreneurship and its potentially powerful role in creating, changing, and advancing disability policy
Mr. Oren Murphy, Asia Regional Director of Internews, an international media development organization, also presented to students about the role of grassroots traditional and new media to further advocate for and advance public policy.
Site visits to Disabled Peoples’ International, a grassroots cross-disability NGO, and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) introduced students to these prominent organizations’ disability policy work while also providing networking opportunities. At the UNESCAP visit, students learned about global disability policy frameworks in existence and offered policy suggestions they would like to see implemented. These suggestions were noted by UNESCAP Emerging Social Issues Division Officer Ms. Aiko Akiyama, who stated that she would raise them with her director in time for an upcoming division meeting.
Throughout the week, Clyde White, Jr., COTELCO and IDPP Director of Technology, introduced students to the cyberinfrastructure components of this virtual Master’s program. Students continue to receive training sessions on the webconferencing program and online tools using their own computers to gain proficiency with the programs.
Pictured left: CIDP students receive technology training sessions to achieve proficiency in the virtual learning tools they will use throughout the year-long Master's program
In between days of engaging seminars and informative training sessions, students explored the Bangkok area while creating new friendships. Students visited the National Discovery Museum Institute and the Rose Garden, where they enjoyed a cultural show, elephant rides, and exhibits on Thai history.
CIDP students enjoy a Thai cultural show during a weekend excursion to the Rose Garden
As the residency comes to a close, students will leave Bangkok with exposure and knowledge, fresh insight, practical collaboration experience, and new friendships. They will begin their first official classes in the CIDP Program the week of 29 August 2011.