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Living in Myanmar

Myanmar Independent Living Initiative (MILI) is one of AGENDA partners in ASEAN. Mr. Nay Lin Soe is the founder and program director of the Myanmar Independent Living Initiative (MILI), an organization for persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Myanmar. In this short video, Mr. Nay Lin Soe briefly describes and shares his personal experience living in Myanmar as a person with disability.

Election Access Monitoring Report Spurs Conversations in Kosovo

MEOs are led through a simulation of an inaccessible polling station during one of the workshops held in October 2014

MEOs are led through a simulation of an inaccessible polling station during one of the workshops held in October 2014

There are an estimated 200,000 persons with disabilities living in Kosovo, many of whom encounter numerous obstacles such as inaccessible polling stations and transport options when trying to exercise their right to vote.

To fully identify and understand the barriers to elections for persons with disabilities, the Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI) and a disabled person’s organization named HandiKOS partnered with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) to develop a short- and long-term election monitoring program for Kosovo’s National Assembly elections held in June 2014.

For the program, known as the Disability Access Monitoring Mission (DAMM), both KDI and HandiKOS recruited 230 persons with disabilities (of whom 37% were women) as either short- or long-term observers in all stages of the electoral process, including election planning, the dissemination of electoral and political information, campaigns by political parties, and voting on Election Day.

The first DAMM report was released in in three languages and braille. One of its major findings noted that, although Kosovo had laws that supported the political rights of persons with disabilities, there were large gaps in the implementation of these laws throughout the country.

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Gaining Experience while Inspiring

Noor Muhammad Ariffin AzeeraNoor Muhammad Ariffin Azeera of Ipoh, Malaysia, has an enthusiasm for community development. With a bachelor’s degree in Islamic banking and finance and a graduate degree in business, her passion lies in using policy to improve the wellbeing of her country. After she graduated in 2007, she joined the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research, Malaysia's leader in economic, social and political issues.

After three and a half years with Merdeka, Azeera returned to school. She attended the International Institute of Public Policy and Management (INPUMA) at the University of Malaya. However, she chose not to finish her study, as she won a scholarship from the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) in the middle of her program.

With IDPP/ American University faculty members, IDPP second cohort and AGENDA prime movers, Chris Donn and Hepi Sebayang after AGENDA Briefing and Presentation at the 2-week IDPP Residency Program, Sampran Riverside, Bangokok, ThailandThe IDPP is a network of organizations in Southeast Asia that connect to the American University in Washington, D.C. The IDPP offers a master’s degree in disability policy through American University’s School of International Services (SIS). The program envisions a rights-based, barrier-free and inclusive society in Southeast Asia by producing students who contribute to the development and analysis of policies related to persons with disabilities.

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