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Featured Speaker: Derrick Cogburn

Friday, 9:30–10:45 a.m.
JW Marriott, Grand Ballroom V, Third Floor

Disability and Development as a Global "Grand Challenge": Collaborative Research Opportunities Around the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Derrick CogburnOn 23 September the United Nations General Assembly organized a special High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development to explore the integration of disability issues into the post-2015 development agenda as the era of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) comes to an close.

This meeting recognized that, according to the World Bank and World Health Organization, more than a billion people in the world now live with some form of disability (WHO, 2011). Many people believe this number is conservative, and does not take into consideration the increasing number of aging persons that are also experiencing the world with similar needs as persons with disabilities.

In this talk, Dr. Cogburn proposes a framework for addressing these issues as a "grand challenge" for the global community; one that integrates governments, international and regional organizations, universities, civil society organizations and the private sector. It is set within the context of the global policy framework engendered by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), with examples from regional policy and implementation frameworks like the UN Economic and Social Commission (ESCAP) strategy to "Make the Right Real" for Persons with Disabilities in the Asia-Pacific Region, known as the Incheon Strategy.

Dr. Cogburn will present a case study of one regional (and global response) to this grand challenge led by the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) at American University. The IDPP, born as an initiative of The Nippon Foundation, is the world’s first virtual graduate institute focused on disability and development. It takes a cyberlearning approach to build human capacity for persons with disabilities around the world, focused on persons that are deaf and hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, and/or mobility impaired in the ASEAN region. It has a virtual masters program, and ongoing capacity development initiative, an outreach program, and a collaborative research program.

This talk will explain: (1) the background to the IDPP and the information and communication technologies that enable it to create a global accessible cyberlearning environment; (2) the integration of disability issues into the post-2015 development agenda; (3) the comprehensive global, regional, and national policy frameworks driving this new rights-based global environment for persons with disabilities; and will end with (4) a collaborative research agenda to address the "grand challenge" of disability and development. 



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