Asia-Pacific Center on Development of Disabilities

Tuesday--31 January Wednesday--1 February 2012    Special Notes

The Asia-Pacific Center for Development of Disabilities, based in Bangkok, is a regional organization working for development and advocacy in the disability sector. They are a wonderful organization, supported largely by JICA and the Nippon Foundation, both from Japan. This week they sponsored a roundtable on inclusive business with about 35 people attending from about 10 countries in Asia.

Mr. Akiie Ninomiya is the Executive Director of the Asia-Pacific Center on the Development of Disabilities, and he opened the roundtable with an introduction to the participants.
Mr. Akiie Ninomiya

At the morning break, Charlie Dittmeier from the Deaf Development Programme in Cambodia talked with Matrika Devkota, a mental health advocate from Nepal about Maryknoll people they both know.
Charlie Dittmeier conversing with Bkiom Limpiphiphatn

The sessions in the morning and afternoon were set up with two or three different speakers to give short presentations on different aspects of inclusive business, followed by questions and discussions.
A session with several speakers in the morning

Lunch in the center's dining area
Breakfast and lunch were served in the center's dining room, up on the residential floor where there are accommodations for about thirty-five guests.

APCD insurance card
This meeting produced a first for me. The APCD organizers provided insurance coverage for each of the persons who attended the roundtable as their guests. That is a really considerate touch because many people in Asia have no insurance at all and especially outside their home countries.

A late-morning session
Different people facilitated different sessions so there was an element of change and variety throughout the day.

In the evening there was a reception for all the attendees and APCD staff, and Charlie Dittmeier interpreted into sign language for Bkom Limpiphiphatn.
Charlie Dittmeier interpreting for Bkom Limpiphiphatn

The dinner this evening was a variety of Japanese food and fruits.
Reception before supper

The meetings and heavy conversations didn't stop just because that part of the agenda was over or because we were in the dining room. Here John Honney and Ryuhei Sano discuss a possibility.
John Honney and Ryuhei Sano

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Asia-Pacific Center on Development of Disabilities

Tuesday--31 January 2012    Wednesday--1 February 2012    Special Notes

The second day of the roundtable on inclusive business--only a morning session--tried to pull together some of the many threads of ideas that were generated yesterday. The original intent of the roundtable was to finalize a system for recognizing businesses that include people with disabilities as customers, employees, and entrepreneurs but it was decided that that would need to be a later step because so many other thoughts and approaches had been offered in yesterday's sessions.

The APCD center in Bangkok is the only such facility I know of, in any country. It was designed specifically to accommodate people with disabilities for meetings and training sessions and has accessible accommodations for approximately 30 persons. It is sponsored largely by JICA (the Japanese International Cooperation Agency) which is a major force in working with disabilities in Asia.
Sign for the APCD center

In the first morning session, participants listened to a Thai businessman explaining his ideas and practices to assist people with disabilities.
Discussion in the morning session

The center has a large well-equipped meeting room that makes gatherings such as ours very convenient. One complication because of all the technology and devices was that there were fairly frequent beeps and warning sounds but no one knew what they meant.
The whole roundtable group

Mr. Suichi Ohno
At the end of the morning, Mr. Suichi Ohno, the director of International Development for the Nippon Foundation, gave closing remarks. Nippon funds the APCD center and some of its programs, and was the main donor behind the roundtable these two days.

Mr. Ghulam Nabi Nizamani
Mr. Ghulam Nabi Nizamani from Pakistan was one of the facilitators and coordinators of the roundtable and its discussions.

Mr. Akiie Ninomiya
Mr. Akiie Ninomiya is the Executive Director of the APCD center in Bangkok. In his closing remarks he noted some of the achievements the center has realized in cooperation with the Nippon Foundation and JICA.

Ryuhei Sano is one of the coordinators for the Inclusive Business department of APCD. Charlie Dittmeier has known him for several years.
Ryuhei Sano and Charlie Dittmeier

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