On April 8, 2019, the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP), alongside American University and more than 100 disability advocates and higher education institutions from 40 countries, signed onto a historic global compact on persons with disabilities in higher education.
IDPP Executive Director Dr. Derrick Cogburn remotely served as a keynote speaker at the launch of GUDIN and participated in a roundtable discussion on global inclusion in higher education.
Led by former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, the Harkin Summit assembles stakeholders from across the globe to review and explore efforts to boost independence, employment, and economic prosperity for people with disabilities. GUDIN was catalyzed by discussions among international college and university representatives at the 2018 Summit in Washington, D.C.
“The lack of quality, inclusive, high education programs for persons with disabilities [is an ongoing problem]; rarely can programs be found which enable access to professionalizing high education, specifically because institutions and universities find it difficult to be inclusive enough,” according to GUDIN’s website.
GUDIN seeks to improve the capacity of colleges and universities worldwide to accommodate and value all students, no matter the level of their ability. GUDIN will provide higher educators with resources, tools, technical support, and networking opportunities.
GUDIN organizers will seek to grow the global partnership over the next several years in the hopes of serving thousands of higher education institutions around the world. GUDIN will facilitate regular meetings between members, facilitate resource sharing and development, and provide a platform where members can connect and share ideas.