Seven graduates received degrees from the world’s first virtual Master’s program in disability policy offered by the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) for the ASEAN Region at the inaugural convocation ceremony at Mahidol University Learning Center, Salaya on August 14.
ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan and Ambassador Luis Gallegos, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations addressed the graduates and incoming students who were blind, deaf, and mobility impaired from Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Nigeria, and the U.S.
The ceremony was preceded by a press conference in which
Asst. Prof. Surakit Nathisuwan, Mahidol University Vice President for International Relations, Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn, IDPP Executive Director and Ms.Eloisa Zepeda, a graduating student from Philippines briefed members of the press about the collaboration on the Master’s in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) program.
Equipped with technological innovation, the program, offered by American University’s School of International Service (SIS) in Washington, D.C., cuts across geographic boundaries to allow faculty and students to teach and learn through accessible online courses from anywhere in the world.
“This marks a significant milestone in our collective efforts to enhance an inclusive, barrier-free, and rights-based ASEAN society; one where persons with disabilities are equipped with the skills necessary to influence the policies that directly affect them,” said Dr. Cogburn, an associate professor at SIS.
The ceremony took place on the opening day of the Second Annual IDPP Residency, which served as a two-week orientation for the second cohort of incoming students. An international IDPP faculty will introduce incoming students to ASEAN affairs, cross-cultural communication, research methods, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Dr. Cogburn stated that through a growing network of outstanding universities, accessible cyberinfrastructure, and fellowships provided by The Nippon Foundation, the IDPP had enabled students to become international disability policy leaders in the public, private, and NGO sectors.
Supported by The Nippon Foundation, the IDPP is a partnership among American University; Mahidol University; Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore; National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology; Universitas Indonesia; University of Malaya; De La Salle Philippines; Ateneo de Manila University; Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability; and International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment.
Date : August 23, 2012