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IDPP Networking Mission Strengthens Partnerships

IDPP delegation meets with Hanoi Independent Living Center photoAn IDPP delegation led by Executive Director Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn and composed of Executive Committee members, The Nippon Foundation representatives, and IDPP staff members is in the ASEAN region from 25 May – 8 June 2012 visiting a significant number of IDPP existing and prospective partner institutions; current CIDP Master’s students; disabled people’s organizations; and IDPP collaborators with the purpose of strengthening relationships.

The IDPP Networking Mission delegation meets with staff members of the Hanoi Independent Living Center in Hanoi, Vietnam.

In addition to Dr. Cogburn, the delegation consists of Mr. Shuichi Ohno, Executive Director of The Nippon Foundation; Dr. James DeCaro, President and Dean Emeritus, and Professor at the National Technical Institute of the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology; Mr. Akiie Ninomiya, Executive Director of the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD); Dr. Larry Campbell (absentia), Immediate Past President of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment; Mr. M. Rajaretnam, Special Advisor on Community Building and Outreach to the ASEAN Secretary General; Mr. Yasunobu Ishii, Director of the Disability Program at The Nippon Foundation; Mr. Minoru Yoshida, Program Coordinator at The Nippon Foundation; the IDPP Associate Director; IDPP Communications Coordinator Ms. Maya Aguilar; and IDPP Program Coordinator for Outreach and Capacity Building Mr. Joni Yulianto.

IDPP delegation meets with Hanoi University photoFrom 28-29 May 2012, the delegation visited the Hanoi School of Public Health; the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences’ Graduate Academy of Social Sciences (GASS); Hanoi University; and the Hanoi Independent Living Center in Vietnam directed by IDPP Dream Team member Ms. Hong Ha Nguyen. In addition to meeting with Vice Presidents, Deans, and other high-level delegates from each institution, Dr. Cogburn presented the IDPP and CIDP Master’s program to an auditorium of approximately 100 GASS students, who later peppered Dr. Cogburn with questions. The delegation also met with CIDP student Mr. Thien Ba Tran and American University (AU)-School of International Service (SIS) Professor Dr. Thomas Jendl, who currently leads the American University Summer Program in Vietnam and Malaysia, for an enriching relationship-building opportunity. Dr. Cogburn presents to students at the Graduate Academy of Social Sciences in Hanoi, Vietnam photo

On 30 May 2012, the delegation visited partner institution Mahidol University (MU) in Bangkok, Thailand to meet with Executive Committee member Dr. Banchong Mahaisavariya, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies; MU administration and faculty members; and APCD staff members. The visit also provided an opportunity to further solidify plans for the 2012 IDPP Two-Week Residency in August hosted by MU. The delegation also met with a prospective CIDP candidate at the APCD office as a result of the recruitment efforts of Mr. Ninomiya.

Mr. Yasunobu Ishii and Father Jose Cruz with Ateneo de Manila students photoFrom 31 May – 3 June 2012, the delegation traveled to Manila, Philippines to meet with current partners Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (CSB). Meetings at both universities, led by IDPP Executive Committee members Father Jose Cruz and Ms. Theresa Benitez-dela Torre respectively, offered invaluable insight into the academic curricula, program initiatives, and research being conducted at both institutions. A demonstration of The Innovation Center at Ateneo de Manila University showcased advances in student-led disability and accessibility research currently being performed. CSB campus and program tours guided by CIDP students Mr. Raphael Domingo and Mackie Calbay offered key information into the history, culture, and tremendous work being carried out at CSB.

In addition, the delegation met with five of six CIDP students from the Philippines on 1 and 2 June, who also had the opportunity to meet and network with a SIS alumnus from the Philippines. The delegation also met with IDPP Dream Team member Mr. Thomas Ng, Executive Director of Genashtim Innovative Learning on 2 June 2012, which offers online English language tutoring services to CIDP students.IDPP delegation with CIDP students and friends in Manila, Philippines photo

The IDPP delegation subsequently traveled to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore for the second half of the mission. From 3-5 June 2012, the delegation visited State Islamic University and Universitas Gadja Mada, both in Yogyakarta, Indonesia; and the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA) and existing IDPP partner Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Dr. Derrick Cogburn shakes hands with State Islamic University faculty member photoAt State Islamic University, the IDPP delegation met with the Vice Rector of Academic and Student Affairs, and the heads of the International Relations Department and the Center on Disability Studies and Services, among many others. The delegation also met with a State Islamic University alumnus and prospective student of the Master’s in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) program. At Universitas Gadja Mada, the IDPP team met with the Rector, faculty members from the Department of Social Sciences, as well as representatives of various institutions affiliated with the university, including the Center for Universal Design and Disability and the South East Asia Studies Center.

On 5 June 2012, the delegation met with representatives of AGENDA, including AGENDA Project Manager Mr. Christian Dirk Donn, in which discussions focused on further possible avenues of collaboration, including the capacity building of disabled peoples’ organizations; collaborative research; and the recruitment of potential CIDP students. On the same day, the IDPP met with representatives of Universitas Indonesia, including IDPP Executive Committee member Dean Bambang Shergi Laksmono; IDPP Executive Committee member Dr. Irwanto, professor and founder/director of the Center for Disability Studies; and university faculty members to discuss the ways in which the IDPP’s current partnership with Universitas Indonesia can be maximized. IDPP Networking Mission group photo at Universitas Indonesia

The next stop of the mission was to the University of Malaya (UM) to meet with representatives of UM’s International Institute for Public Policy and Management on 6 June 2012. In this meeting, the IDPP and existing partner UM exchanged information on development strategies, and teaching and research collaboration in various topics related to disability and public policy. In addition, both institutions’ focus on public policy and disability issues allowed for the excellent sharing of common lessons learned.

IDPP Networking Mission group photo at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public PolicyThe IDPP Networking Mission concluded with meetings in Singapore on 7 – 8 June 2012, where the delegation met with existing partner Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, as well as current CIDP student Mr. U-Wen Wong and alumni of American University’s School of International Service living in Singapore. At the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the delegation was received by Dr. Astrid Tuminez, Vice Dean of Research and an IDPP Executive Committee member. IDPP Networking Mission delegation photo

The mission concluded with an internal IDPP meeting, which gave the delegation an invaluable opportunity to reflect upon the impact of the mission; the current state of the organization; and gather input from each team member to be applied to future IDPP strategies. The two-week mission offered fantastic opportunities to strengthen relationships face-to-face, and discuss future IDPP collaboration to collectively promote and advance disability rights in the ASEAN region.