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IDPP Hosts Inaugural Open House at New AU Campus Offices

IDPP Open House flyer photoThe IDPP was delighted to host its first Open House on 1 December from 9:00am-2:00pm US ET at the IDPP’s new offices in the American University (AU) Brandywine Building on the AU campus in Washington, DC. The Open House was a public event that hosted members of the AU community and beyond, including virtual participants from around the world, for a discussion of the IDPP’s work; AU2030: Global Disability Policy, Technology and Education project; and student presentations from Executive Director Dr. Derrick Cogburn’s Senior SIS Capstone Seminar on Disability & Development. The Open House was in preparation for and connected to the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December.

The 1 December Open House was organized by the IDPP as a way to further familiarize the AU community with the IDPP’s latest research and work; promote awareness of global issues in disability and development; and showcase its progress and plans for the AU2030: Global Disability Policy, Technology and Education project. The day’s activities began with an overview presentation of the IDPP’s research and current work across the ASEAN region. The presentation included some of the IDPP’s major accomplishments this year, including its widely successful 2014 Annual Meeting; the IDPP’s continued collaborative research and outreach initiatives; and its rapidly expanding global network of university and outreach partners around the world.

An IDPP Overview was followed by a discussion of its role and goals in the AU2030: Global Disability Policy, Technology and Education project, which cultivates cross-campus partnerships between the American University’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS); School of International Service (SIS); School of Public Affairs (SPA); School of Professional and Extended Studies (SPExs); Washington College of Law; School of Communication (SOC); and Kogod School of Business to create a suite of educational offerings at the undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and executive levels and develop a collaborative research program focused on disability policy analysis, accessibility, and universal design. The presentation offered participants insight into the project’s goals and next steps heading into 2015 and provide an opportunity for rich discussion among the AU community.

Following a brief brunch, the day ended with presentations from students in Dr. Cogburn’s SIS Senior Capstone Seminar: The Global ‘Grand Challenge’ of Disability and Development. The students presented on their end-of-term Disability and Development Case Studies, in which the students identified and examined their country’s current national strategy and policy frameworks for relevant disability and inclusive development-oriented strategies.

On 2 December, members of the IDPP’s faculty and staff reconvened at the offices for a day-long internal planning retreat. While the IDPP regularly holds in-person and virtual staff meetings, this retreat provided a unique and invaluable opportunity for many staff members to meet face-to-face, with virtual participation of regional staff, to discuss the IDPP’s progress, goals and action plans as it prepares for the new year and its fourth year of operation.

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