Mainstreaming Inclusivity and Diversity

Asia-Pacific, Built Environment, DIAUD Network, Events, January 19 2018

On January 17, the DIAUD Network hosted the first meeting of 2018. The meeting began with a summary of the latest progress made in preparation for the upcoming 9th session of the World Urban Forum (WUF9).  Members from UN Habitat’s General Assembly of Partners (GAP) and the Partner Constituent Groups of Persons with Disabilities (PwD-PCG) announced three DIAUD-led events to be held at WUF9. The first is a side event scheduled for Sunday February 11th, titled “Implementing Universal Accessibility at the Local Level – Practical Actions for Realizing an Inclusive Urban Agenda”. DIAUD will also host an outdoor exhibition showcasing an Aerial Human Art Project, hundreds of people will form the phrase “Cities for All” and it will be photograph by a drone. The exhibition will include a youth component inviting youth from local universities and schools to participate. The final event is a training session scheduled for Monday February 12th: “Smart Cities 2030 – How to Build Smart Cities for All”. The training event is part of the World Enabled and G3ict initiative Smart Cities for All.

DIAUD Network members were also encouraged to participate in the WUF9 Stakeholders Roundtables, which are organized throughout the Forum as an opportunity for stakeholders and representatives from research fields and interest groups to come together, discuss relevant issues and priorities, and draft recommendations for local and national governments. The Stakeholder’s Roundtable for Persons with Disabilities will be held on Friday February 9th at 09.00 – 11.00.

UNESCO Logo

UNESCO Logo

The January 17th DIAUD Network meeting also featured a presentation from Catherine Carty, Project Manager for the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive PE, Sport, Recreation and Fitness at the Institute of Technology in Tralee (ITT), Ireland. The UNESCO Chair’s remit spans from children to older adults across training, arts, research, health, technology and justice, and is the only Chair of its kind in the world. The Chair has a very broad perspective, appreciating that everything in our environments contributes to the opportunity for people with disabilities to engage in and through the mediums of sports, recreation, and fitness. The Chair focuses on how these domains enhance people’s lives – and not just people with disabilities, but also their families, friends, communities, and society in general.

The UNESCO Chair’s work is supported by partners from around the world and is guided by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Kazan Action Plan. The latter was adopted in July 2017 by UNESCO’s 6th International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS VI); the Chair is supporting UNESCO ahead of MINEPS VII. The Chair has worked with partners to develop a range of programs and initiatives designed to support professionals in making their domains more inclusive. The Chair advocates for policies that embed inclusion as part of the initial training and preparation for universities, higher education, and elsewhere, in order to ensure that people emerge as inclusive practitioners. The Chair is dedicated to mainstreaming diversity through advocacy, developing education and training, and creating opportunities to enable people in all areas to enhance diversity.

Ms. Carty outlined some of the UNESCO Chair’s current initiatives, all of which work toward the overarching goals of transforming lives, increasing inclusivity, recognizing the rights of all, and serving humanity as a whole. Ms. Carty gave particular attention to the Chair’s work on Global Active City (GAC), an ISO-compatible standard that aims to identity cities that enable their citizens to become more active in and where they live and work. The UNESCO Chair developed the project with Evaleo, The Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA), and the International Olympic Committee. The UNESCO Chair ensured GAC was both inclusive and aligned with the Chair’s sustainable health spectrum.

Learn more about the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive PE, Sport, Recreation and Fitness at its official website, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages. DIAUD Network members are also welcome to contact Catherine Carty for additional information on the Chair: unesco@ittralee.ie.

The DIAUD Network’s next meeting will take place on Wednesday January 31st, 2018 at 8:00pm EDT (2:00 AM CEST | 9:00 AM HKT – next day). The collaboration between the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) , the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), and WorldEnabled makes the DIAUD Network possible.  These network meetings are hosted and recorded on a virtual platform by IDPP and the recordings are available to registered DIAUD Network members.  In order to receive updates and further your participation with the Network, join the mailing list here.

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