BANGKOK, THAILAND: Recognizing the importance of energy for sustainable development, the United Nations in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has devoted Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) to energy – the first-ever universal goal on energy, with five targets on access, efficiency, renewables and means of implementation. SDG7 is inextricably interlinked to other SDGs and related targets, including those relating to poverty eradication, food security, clean water and sanitation, health, education, infrastructure, innovation, job creation, and the empowerment of youth and women. Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all is fundamental to realizing the vision of the 2030 Agenda. A shift toward sustainable energy solutions is also essential to the achievement of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The ambition of the 2030 Agenda calls for equally ambitious means of implementation, including enabling environments, effective institutions, technology cooperation, capacity building, scaled-up financing and multi-stakeholder partnerships to achieve sustainable development.
In this context, the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), serving as the central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will undertake the first global review of SDG7 in July 2018, under the auspices of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). To help provide a solid substantive foundation for the review of SDG7, a global preparatory meeting in support of the review of SDG7 at the 2018 High-Level Political Forum, jointly organized by United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), will be held on 21-23 February 2018 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. The global preparatory meeting will help facilitate exchange of lessons, insights and experiences among Member States, UN entities and other international organizations and all stakeholders, and consider challenges and opportunities for accelerating progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. This conference is supported by the Governments of Norway, the Republic of Korea (through DESA’s UN Office on Sustainable Development), the People’s Republic of China (through the UN Peace and Development Fund), Germany, The Netherlands, and the European Commission, among others.
The registration for the Global SDG 7 Conference is now open to participation from all stakeholders.
More information about the conference can be found at https://
Registration to the Conference (deadline: 15th January 2018) https://
Side Event and Exhibits Application (deadline: 31st December 2017) https://
Follow #SDG7Conference for updates on twitter.
We look forward to your participation in the conference and working with all of you in preparing for a successful 2018 meeting of the HLPF, under the auspices of ECOSOC.
Source: Global SDG7 Conference
MUSCAT, OMAN: In association with Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), the Islamic Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the Research Laboratory of Technologies of Information & Communication & Electrical Engineering (LaTICE) at the University of Tunis, and the Tunisian Association E-access, Sultan Qaboos University will host the 6th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology and Accessibility from 19-21 December. The opening ceremony of the event will be held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Saud bin Suliaman Al Nabhani, Advisor of the State.
The conference titled “Information and Communication Technology and Accessibility” will discuss the use of information and communication technologies for people with disabilities. The conference offers the opportunity to connect researchers, experts and educationalists to discuss and exchange experiences in Accessibility of people with disabilities and education with special focus on Technology Enhanced Education for people with disabilities at regional and international levels.
Dr. Suliaman Al Balushi, Dean of the College of Education at Sultan Qaboos University said that nearly 89 papers covering various themes would be presented at the conference in addition to 17 poster presentations. Participants of the conference come from outside and within Sultanate of Oman. The conference features expert speakers from the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Learning.
The Ministry of Education is sending 52 special education teachers to participate in the three-day conference.
Source: Muscat Daily
The ninth annual State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities runs Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 15 and 16, at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center and the Schine Student Center.
Including a first-time parallel Student Leadership Conference, the event will draw more than 300 participants, providing opportunities for colleges and universities, researchers, program staff, parents and self-advocates to learn about the current state of research and practice in the field and to network with each other. Panels include faculty and staff from postsecondary education initiatives, parents, self-advocates and other experts sharing effective practices during breakout sessions with opportunities for group discussion. The student conference will bring high school and college students into the conversation.
For the first time, the conference—hosted by George Mason University’s Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human Disabilities and the Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education at Syracuse University—takes place in Syracuse.
“We have professionals coming from universities and centers all over the world, including Austria, Ireland, Canada, Hawaii and Washington,” says Beth Myers, executive director of the Taishoff Center and Lawrence B. Taishoff Professor of Inclusive Education in the School of Education. “Tracks include academic supports, promoting policy and systemic change, campus life, innovations in higher education, independent living, family and community support, research and evaluation, program development and transition.”
Filmmaker Dan Habib from the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability and Micah Fialka-Feldman ’15, a Taishoff Center staff member, will present the opening keynote, including clips from Habib’s forthcoming documentary “Intelligent Lives.” The film tells the stories of Fialka-Feldman and two other young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs).
“I’m sure they will talk about the construction of intelligence as a marker of success and show how some individuals with IDD are pioneers in inclusion, breaking stereotypes about intellectual disability,” says Myers.
Retired Navy Capt. Robert Taishoff, a Syracuse University Trustee, will speak Wednesday afternoon. He is chairman of the Taishoff Family Foundation, which created the Taishoff Center. It’s named for his grandfather, who made it his priority to aid in research and educating society about Down syndrome.
The State of the Art Conference will have 250 participants; 85 students are expected for the Student Leadership Conference. The latter event is open to all students, with an emphasis on young adults who are transitioning into college and current college students. The focus is on students with intellectual disabilities and their peers, including traditionally enrolled friends, classmates and mentors.
Sessions for the students will cover academic life, social connections, self-advocacy, self-representation and housing, along with a ropes course, yoga and a karaoke party.
“The SLC is a gathering of current and future college students with intellectual disabilities. This is so hugely significant because 30 years ago not only would these students not be attending college, many or most of them would be isolated or institutionalized,” says Cara Levine, a Ph.D. student in counseling and counselor education at the School of Education and coordinator of the student conference. “The conference will provide a space for participants to acquire self-advocacy skills and learn about the college experience from one another while making valuable social connections with peers from across the United States and Canada.”
For more information, visit www.sotaconference.com.
BALTIMORE: The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Auto Alliance) hosted a conference titled “The Promise: Autonomous Vehicles and the Disability Community” on October 25. The event was hosted at NFB’s Jernigan Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.
The event brought together representatives from government, the automotive industry and advocates for persons with disabilities to discuss the advances, challenges, and path forward for autonomous vehicle development.
“Historically, accessibility has been a costly post-purchase vehicle modification for most people with disabilities, and nonexistent for the blind,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “The National Federation of the Blind was therefore pleased to co-host this first-of-its-kind gathering of disabled consumers, automotive industry representatives, ride-sharing providers, and policymakers, laying the groundwork for accessibility to be included in the development of promising new vehicle technologies rather than as an afterthought. Discussion between industry and disabled consumers has already had a positive impact on the Senate’s AV START legislation, and our continued work together will pave the way for autonomous vehicles to become tools that will truly enhance independence and opportunity for travelers who are blind and other disabled.”
“Automakers have been developing self-driving technologies for years. We are motivated by the tremendous potential for enhanced safety for everyone and the opportunity to provide greater mobility freedom to people with disabilities and the elderly,” said Mitch Bainwol, President and CEO of the Auto Alliance. “Given the enormity of the social benefits, we are anxious to work with stakeholders and government leaders to develop the policy framework to realize these benefits as soon as we can.”
The conference was a key step in the ongoing conversation about how autonomous vehicles can be developed and deployed safely, while considering the needs of those 57 million Americans with disabilities.
Autonomous vehicles offer disabled Americans opportunities for increased mobility and independence, as well as reliable transportation that could vastly increase employment opportunities.
The National Federation of the Blind and Auto Alliance urge Congress, the Administration, and original equipment manufacturers alike to consider the needs of the disabled as they continue to develop the laws, regulations, and technology that will bring autonomous vehicles to the masses.
The day’s speakers included representatives of the disability community (including the National Association of the Deaf, National Federation of the Blind, Paralyzed Veterans of America, American Association of People with Disabilities, United Spinal Association, American Council of the Blind, and National Down Syndrome Society); the automotive industry (including General Motors, Audi of America, Daimler North America, and Volvo Car Group); government (including representatives from the office of Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., the U.S. Department of Labor, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and other stakeholders (including representatives from Uber and Securing America’s Future Energy).
The 20th annual Accessing Higher Ground Virtual Conference, a live, web-based conference focused on accessible media, web and technology, presented by the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD), will be held Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 15-17, and the virtual conference will be hosted in two locations on the University campus. Registration is free; please register online by Monday, Nov. 13, for the sessions you plan to attend.
Accessing Higher Ground (AHG) focuses on the implementation and benefits of accessible media, universal design and assistive technology in university, business and public settings. There is a strong focus on universal design, curriculum accessibility and ADA and Section 508 compliance. Other topic areas cover legal and policy issues, video captioning and creating accessible math content. Incorporating accessibility into the procurement process and accessibility evaluations is a particular focus of the event.
Presentation of the main conference on the University campus is jointly sponsored by the Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services office, the Center for Faculty Development and Institutional Transformation, the Office of Disability Services, the Disability Cultural Center, Syracuse University Libraries and Information Technology Services (ITS).
This conference is intended for individuals who need to design or provide accessible web, media, information resources and technology in the academic and business environment, including faculty and administrators interested in ADA & Section 508 compliance and faculty and other professionals who wish to ensure that their curriculum is accessible. In the past, audiences have included web designers, assistive technologists, ADA coordinators, human resource personnel, persons with disabilities, disability specialists, faculty, media specialists and programmers interested in accessibility and incorporating universal design into curriculum and information and communications technology.
AHG will stream sessions live from two tracks, all three days of the main conference. To register and see the schedule showing local times visit the conference session listing in answers.syr.edu, For complete information, including session abstracts and schedule (Mountain time zone), visit the virtual conference website.
The 3rd International Conference of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) will be held in Budapest, Hungary from 9 to 11 November 2017.
This follows a successful bid to host the WFD Conference being lodged by the Hungarian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
It is expected that 1,500 people, including both international and domestic delegates, will attend the WFD Conference which will be held at the Budapest Congress Centre.
The Theme of the Conference will be “Full inclusion with sign language!” Underlying the theme is the belief that full social inclusion of deaf people is possible if sign language is recognised and used widely within society.
WFD President, Mr. Colin Allen, and the SINOSZ President, Dr. Ádám Kósa, Member of the European Parliament, have signed an agreement committing to collaborate in the organisation of the event. Following the signing, Dr. Kósa emphasised that the WFD Conference, which will enjoy significant support by the Hungarian government, highlights recognition by the World Federation of the Deaf of the Hungarian National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the oldest organisation representing the interests of persons with disabilities in Hungary, as it celebrates its 110th birthday, the timing of which will coincide with the WFD Conference. It is acknowledged that Hungary was the first country to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol in 2007.
Mr Allen noted that WFD as an international organisation, representing 134 member organisations from five continents, organises an international conference every four years with the last conference being held in his home city, Sydney, Australia in 2013 hosted by the Deaf Society of New South Wales.
A key objective of the World Federation of the Deaf is to ensure that members of Deaf Communities in every country have the right to use sign language as their primary language in all walks of life with the result being, the preservation of and development of deaf culture.
JOHANNESBURG: The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has held a two-day conference on the rights of children with disabilities in Johannesburg this week.
The focus is on access to education, as the commission concludes that this basic right has been denied to those children.
In a statement, the SAHRC cites a 2015 Human Rights Watch Report titled, Complicit in Exclusion: South Africa’s Failure to Guarantee Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities; which states that nearly half-a-million children with disabilities were denied access to education while the Department of Basic Education statistics for 2017 indicate that 11,461 children with disabilities were on school admission waiting lists.
The commissioner responsible for children’s rights, Angie Makwetla, says “Children with disabilities and their families constantly experience barriers to the enjoyment of their basic human rights which includes the right to education, right to healthcare and right to family care. This is contrary to the norm stipulated in the Constitution, national legislation as well as regional and international instruments which state that children with disabilities must enjoy equal rights as children without disabilities.”
Through this conference, the SAHRC aims to strengthen relations between itself, non-governmental organizations and government departments in their efforts to educate society on the rights of children living with disabilities, while empowering their parents.
On Wednesday Afrika Tikkun demonstrated outside the conference venue, saying the commission had failed to protect the rights of a 16-year-old child who was allegedly raped by her caregiver in 2013.
The organization says three years after the alleged crime was reported – there is little evidence that the case properly investigated by the human rights commission and other authorities.
The NGO says the case of the girl, who was reportedly later married off to the suspect at the age of 16, is one of many reported incidents of abuse at the centre.
Joined by activist mothers, Afrika Tikkun submitted an appeal on the matter.
General manager at the organisation, Jean Elphick, says: “In July, the commission sent a notice to say that the case would be considered resolved unless appealed. These mothers are really questioning if anyone really cares about justice for children with disabilities. They are also wondering whether there any evidence that the commission is actually fulfilling its mandate.”
The conference ended on Thursday.
Source: Eyewitness News
The Learning Disabilities Association of New Jersey announces its annual conference and resource expo, to be held Saturday, Oct. 21, at Middlesex County College. This year’s keynote address will be titled “Don’t Give Up on That Kid,” by Nelson Lauver, author, blogger, broadcaster, speaker and dyslexic.
Parents, educators, adults, professionals, and students are invited to attend and choose from 25 sessions. Topics include information on the new NJ Dyslexia Handbook, math, writing, basic rights in special education, assistive technology, transition to college and work, and much more. In addition to breakfast and lunch, time will be provided to visit the Resource Expo. LDA members and full time students pay $25 and non-members pay $50 until Oct. 1. New memberships are $75 and include registration. Prices will increase on Oct. 1.
The Centre for Disability Studies and Action (CDSA), School of Social Work of Tata Insitute of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai, and Brotherhood, Delhi are organizing jointly an International Conference on Inclusive Education from 22nd to 24th January 2018 at TISS, Mumbai.
The conference will provide an opportunity to share and disseminate ideas, research findings, academic, field-level experiences on Inclusive Education, evidence bases practices and innovation in inclusive education from India and other countries and create a sharing community to feel all children safe and secure in the classroom.
“Inclusive education is about how we develop and design our schools, classrooms, programs and activities so that all students learn and participate together. For a school to be inclusive, all children, regardless of their ability level have to be included in a mainstream classroom, or least restrictive environment (LRE), so that students of all ability levels are taught as equals, and that teachers adjust their curriculum and teaching methodologies for all students to benefit. Implementation of an inclusive education would require a number of changes in present day teaching practices, curriculum content, infrastructure, technological aids, evaluation procedures and available resources at the school level,” stated the concept note of the conference.
Themes of the conference are: policy on inclusive education; role of school management committee; inclusive curriculum; class room management and practice; school environment; examination, assessment and evaluation; voices of children with disabilities and their parents regarding inclusive education; ICT; assistive technology and assistive devices for facilitating curriculum transaction; infrastructure; universal design learning.