Re-Igniting the Global Network on Disability Inclusion and Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD)

Americas, DIAUD Network, July 25 2017

On July 12, the Global Network on Disability Inclusion and Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD) kicked off a series of virtual meetings to enhance the participation of persons with disabilities (PwD) and the disability rights community in urban development processes, particularly the 9th World Urban Forum (WUF9) to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February 2018.

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The DIAUD network emerged out of the need to include the voices of the global disability community in the processes leading up and to and during Habitat III the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development conference in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. The network organized a series of weekly and monthly capacity building programs for the disability community to increase their voices in and influence on Habitat III. The involvement of the DIAUD network led to greater inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the conference’s outcome document – the New Urban Agenda (NUA). “The DIAUD is a network that came together to ensure that member states that signed up to the New Urban Agenda were clear about the ways that they could further disability responsive urban development,” said Dr. Victor Pineda, President, The Global Alliance On Accessible Technologies And Environments (GAATES) and Co-chair of the DIAUD Network.

Dr. Derrick Cogburn, Executive Director of the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) at American University and Associate Professor in the School of International Service and Kogod School of Business said “the DIAUD network demonstrated its effectiveness in the period leading up to Habitat III, including its work with the General Assembly of Partners, and creating the Persons with Disabilities Partner Constituency Group (PWD-PCG). The network has tremendous potential to help integrate the focus on inclusive cities found not only in the New Urban Agenda, but also in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and many other international development frameworks.

Dr. Pineda began the meeting with an overview of the network, it’s contributions and role in Habitat III and the network’s vision for WUF9. Mr. Fernando Jácome, Specialist at the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, Republic of Ecuador, was the guest speaker and he presented on the topic: “Towards an Inclusive Implementation of the New Urban Agenda- Ecuadorian National and Regional Strategy on Universal Accessibility.” DIAUD meetings will be held every second Wednesday and will feature guest speakers to help plan the network’s participation in WUF9.

The network is jointly coordinated by the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) at American University, Washington D.C., World Enabled and GAATES. The accessible virtual meetings are hosted by IDPP as part of its Disability Inclusive Development (DID Collaboratory), and are open to the public. The next DIAUD meeting will take place on Wednesday, July 26 at 9:00 am EDT. To receive updates from the network, you may join the DIAUD mailing list, go to https://goo.gl/dtxWJf

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