Using the ICTs for Inclusive Education

Although our class discussed inclusive education a while back, our recent talks on Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) are relevant in furthering educational opportunities. We learned that disability inclusive education is ensuring that all students, children, adults, and others have the available tools to be able to pursue their goals as equally as any other. It is a notion that has been received positively, yet not always implemented well. The article Educational Opportunities for Students with Disabilities by F.S. Haq highlights this point. When comparing trainee teachers’ attitudes to certain disabilities and students with higher support needs, Haq found generally positive attitudes toward including children with special needs in the general classroom, especially if the teachers have the appropriate sensitization and awareness exposure in training for this special and inclusive education (Haq and Lawrence). However, in the article’s survey, participants also supported inclusion but were not in favor of accommodating students with multiple disabilities and challenging behaviors (Haq and Lawrence). Positive attitudes are certainly a key component to inclusive education, but there needs to be action. Every person has a fundamental right to educational opportunities. I agree with Haq that special education courses should thus be incorporated into teacher training programs. Teachers should be able to accommodate for every student’s style of learning. It may be apprehensive and a lot to approach, but it must be done. Continue reading

Evolution of a Digital Society

This past week expanded upon the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) that our class touched upon a couple weeks ago. To recap, the IGF brings people together “from various stakeholder groups as equals to discuss public policy issues relating to the Internet” (Internet Governance Forum). It may not necessarily produce solutions, but it is an opportunity for different perspectives to give their insight and understand how to “maximize internet opportunities and address risks and challenges that arise” Internet Governance Forum). Continue reading

Considering Intersectionality in Inclusive Sustainable Development

A new term that falls under our study of inclusive sustainable development is intersectionality, which is the “simultaneous experience of categorical and hierarchical classifications” (Cole). Some of these classifications can include race, gender, sexuality, and even disability. All of the different forms of oppression that stem from these classifications (sexism, racism, etc.) are therefore mutually dependent and intersect, creating a whole system of oppression. It is a situation of give and take; people enjoy certain privileges yet others experience discrimination based on their status in society as set by these classifiers. Continue reading

Why Multi stakeholder Governance?

This weeks discussions builds upon last week’s readings on ICTs by focusing on internet governance. Internet governance (IG) encompasses all the rules, standards, and practices that regulate and shape cyberspace. Because there are multiple networks that cover a variety of regions, internet governance becomes a multi stakeholder issue due to the different actors, organizations, and individuals it affects. Internet governance therefore expands to multi stakeholder internet governance, which aims to bring all those different actors to participate in decision making, solutions, dialogue, and implementation of policies and rules related to internet governance. Multi stakeholder governance was a focal point to understand IG in each of our readings. For example, ISOC spoke about the multi stakeholder approach and how it has three components: infrastructure, governance, and humans (Internet Society). To have successful multi stakeholder decision-making to guide a progressing internet society, there needs to be inclusiveness and transparency, collective responsibility, effective decision making, and collaboration through distributed and interoperable governance (Internet Society). ISOC stated that multi stakeholder decision making is great for the reasons we touched upon; the process helps issues where decisions impact a wide range of people with overlapping rights across sectors. Continue reading

The Importance of ICTs

Our class discussions picked up with Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) with Inclusive Sustainable Development, noting the digital divide in an increasingly globalized society that has seen the growth and importance of ICTs. A common theme I noticed throughout the readings was the increasing disparity between groups who have access to technology (phones, computers, etc.) versus those who do not, or in other terms, the “have” and “have nots” (Brown). For example, in Falling Through the Net, I learned how the core of US telecommunications policy is to provide universal service where all Americans should have access to affordable telephone service (Brown). Unfortunately, the survey discovered that there a disproportionate amount of “have nots” found in the US’s rural areas and central cities. In terms of race, Native Americans in rural areas possess the fewest telephones (Brown). In terms of age, the youngest householder and rural seniors have the lowest number. Continue reading

The Risk of Improper Disaster Risk Planning

Our last aspect in exploring inclusive sustainable cities was disaster risk reduction and disaster management. This subject is important when considering cities because of their huge populations, so there needs to be precautionary plans to anticipate natural disasters or emergencies and to also have the resiliency and adaptation to recover from these situations and hopefully prevent them. Risk reduction refers to the practice of reducing disaster risks through efforts to analyze and reduce the causal factors of disasters. It involves a combination of hazard (frequency, magnitude, location), exposure (who is at risk), and vulnerability (susceptibility of an individual to be impacted by hazards). Risk management on the other hand is the application of disaster risk reduction policies and strategies that aim to prevent new disaster risks, reduce existing risks, manage residual risks, and strengthen the resilience and reduction of losses. There are three main categories risk management falls under: prospective, corrective, and compensatory. Inclusive disaster risk reduction and management takes all these steps further by making sure all people — those with disabilities, youth, elderly, etc. — are able to be prepared and included in plans. All aspects from first responders, to alerts, to evacuation need to be able to adapt and help with all people to ensure their safety. Continue reading

Monitoring Inclusive Sustainable Cities Through the WUF

Our class had the opportunity to further delve into inclusive, sustainable cities as we learned about the World Urban Forum, or WUF. The WUF is convened by UN Habitat and is a world conference on cities in a non-legislative forum. The last one, WUF9, was held in Kuala Lumpur in February 2018. WUF10 will be held in Abu Dhabi in 2020. This forum is crucial because it meets more frequently — every two years — versus Habitat where UNGA and all the participants involved with that meet every twenty years. Habitat III helped set the stage for the New Urban Agenda (NUA), where it has a series of long-term visions, commitments, and implementations countries will use to further develop of smart cities and ensure everyone has a right to the city. WUF acts as a checkpoint to see the progress of whatever happens at Habitat, and in this case, it is the NUA from Habitat III. Continue reading