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IDPP Speaks at UN Commemoration of International Day of PWDs

Dr. Derrick Cogburn with UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moonDr. Derrick Cogburn, SIS associate professor and IDPP executive director, was invited by the United Nations to speak at “Inclusion Matters: Access and Empowerment for People of All Abilities” to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2015. The day-long event was hosted at UN Headquarters in New York and focused on three subthemed panel discussions: making cities inclusive and accessible for all; improving disability data and statistics; and including persons with invisible disabilities in society and development. Dr. Cogburn spoke during “Operationalizing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development with regard to data, statistics and indicators for persons with disabilities” from 1:00pm-2:30pm ET.

Dr. Cogburn presented alongside H.E. Amb. Caitlin Wilson, Deputy Permanent Representative, PM Australia; and colleagues from the UN Statistics Division, UNICEF, WHO, Disabled Peoples International, CDC, and Action on Disability and Development International.

The event also featured IDPP Advisory Board members Amb. Luis Gallegos and Dr. Victor Pineda as moderator of the panel “Invisible Disabilities” and as a speaker of the panel “Accessible New Urban Agenda and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities” respectively. The event opened with “Taking Concrete Steps for Disability-Inclusive 2030 Development Agenda for Sustainable Development” with a statement from UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities was instated in 1992 to promote awareness and support for issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society. It continues to encourage collaboration and partnerships between persons with disabilities, civil society organizations, local government and the international community, not only to commemorate this day, but to strengthen national capacity for data collection, invest in policies and services that benefit persons with disabilities, and involve persons with disabilities in the process.

As part of its activities surrounding the 2015 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, IDPP also attended a U.S. International Council on Disabilities reception on the eve of 3 December hosted by H.E. Kirsti Kauppi, ambasador of Finland at the Finland Embassy in Washington, DC, that honored disability rights champions Senator Tom Harkin and Senator Bob Dole, and recognized international disability advocate Kalle Könkkölä, chair of The Abilis Foundation of Finland.