Inclusion for people with disabilities is a sustainability issue emphasized by many countries, including Indonesia. Awareness to provide a safe and inclusive space needs to be supported by implementation from all parties.
Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), committed to creating a disability-friendly environment, was selected as the host for the “International Conference on Disability Rights (ICDR): Advancing Disability Rights–Disability Inclusive Development Reimagined” on Wednesday (November 22).
“This collaboration marks the journey towards a new commitment to create a world where everyone can live with dignity and enjoy equal opportunities, regardless of their abilities or disabilities,” said the Rector of UGM, Professor Ova Emilia, MD, welcoming experts and academics attending the conference.
“UGM has declared its commitment to continue developing an inclusive campus environment and ensuring that disability rights are recognized and enforced in every corner of our society.”
The annual conference, held for three days from November 21 to 23, 2023, is a collaboration between the UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences and the Australian Catholic University through the Australia–Indonesia Disability Research and Advocacy Network (AIDRAN) forum.
This event involves academics and disability rights activists from Indonesia and Australia to discuss efforts to achieve sustainable inclusivity. It is expected to accommodate the emergence of new ideas and innovations packaged in a joint commitment between Indonesia and Australia.
“The issues raised in this conference require concrete implementation in our society. Policies designed must also be able to represent values that transform views about disabilities into policies that respect the dignity and rights of people with disabilities,” explained the rector.
To this day, people with disabilities still face negative stigma. Indonesia and Australia face similar issues in building awareness of inclusion in their country. In a panel session at the ICDR, it was mentioned that many people still overlook the rights of people with disabilities.
“For example, in transportation, most of us might consider trains easy and fast. But unconsciously, a small percentage of people with disabilities have limitations in accessing public transportation,” said Tricia Malowney, Chief Accessibility Advocate for the Victorian Department of Transport and Planning.
“This is what we are working on to provide access for people with disabilities.”
UGM has already realized a commitment to inclusive development in various programs. Facilities, learning, and academic services are being made to accommodate the rights of people with disabilities.
Certainly, UGM also supports sustainable programs that prioritize inclusion issues to create shared awareness among the public. Hopefully, this commitment will grow strong through this event to create a safe, comfortable, and disability-friendly environment.