The Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) has been creating groundbreaking, innovative pathways since 2009 to achieve the dream of building the world's first virtual institute on disability and public policy through the vision and support of The Nippon Foundation.

With a focus on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, this Institute on Disability and Public Policy for the ASEAN Region addresses a critical need to serve as a collaborative "think tank" on disability policy for the ASEAN region and around the world, and to develop a cadre of leaders who can impact disability policy.

The IDPP for the ASEAN Region launched in April 2011 after two years of research and pilot studies. Since 2011 and in its initial five years of operation, the IDPP for the ASEAN Region built an unparalleled network of 20 leading universities and four outreach partners across Southeast Asia and around the world committed to contributing to the vision of an inclusive, barrier-free and rights-based ASEAN community for all people. The development and maintenance of this unique networked organizational structure leverages information and communication technologies to achieve an accessible cyberlearning environment.

In 2011, the IDPP for the ASEAN Region pioneered the world's first virtual master's degree program in disability policy: the Master's of International Affairs in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) at American University's School of International Service. The unique CIDP curriculum was developed and based on a regional and global survey and Delphi process involving an international panel of experts to support multiple master's programs in the ASEAN region. Through partnerships with universities and leading international organizations, this disability policy-focused content was delivered through a highly innovative accessible cyberlearning environment, filling the unique need of enhancing human capacity and the knowledge base of global, regional and national disability policy to researchers and practitioners around the world. The IDPP for the ASEAN Region graduated two cohorts of IDPP Fellows from the CIDP program at American University. Two additional cohorts of IDPP Fellows are earning their master's degrees at IDPP partner institutions based in the ASEAN region.

To our knowledge, there is no other institute in the world that has as deep expertise and is so uniquely positioned to leverage its accessible cyberinfrastructure and geographically-distributed, human capacity building model.