I also had an amazing time meeting the deaf community in Malang Indonesia! They were all amazing and friendly people and we even exchanged sign language!
Apologies for the delay as I have been busy travelling!
I finally found time to write about the 2nd International Conference on Disability and Diversity in Asia (ICDDA) which was held in Malang, Indonesia on 24-25 September 2019.
I presented at the 1st conference in 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia and I was invited to present again at the 2nd conference this year!
The 1st conference was a pioneer event in exploring disability from different culturally and religious perspectives in Asia, especially Islamic perspective.
The Australia-Indonesia Research and Advocacy Network of scholars (AIDRAN) is one of the key organisers for these conferences.
I was one of the few Australians who joined AIDRAN when it launched in 2017, at the 1st conference.
This year there were many more Australians, as well as other people from around the world, along with Indonesian delegates part of AIDRAN and the conference.
‘AIDRAN is a leading Australian and Indonesian network of scholars, advocates and policy makers working collaboratively to improve the lives of people with disability’. For more information or to join: https://aidran.org
The 2nd Conference
The 2nd conference was held at Universitas Brawijaya, in a city called Malang. This university has a very high number of students and staff with disability!
I was amazed by how supportive, welcoming and assistive all the volunteers were, as well as how inclusive the conference was overall!
Over 2 days, we heard many amazing speakers and panels, many which had a disability / lived experience.
There were also over 350 people in attendance!
There were over 6 (!) sign language interpreters in BISINDO (Indonesian Sign Language or Bahasa Isyarat Indonesia), English/Indonesian translation via screen and headphones, accessible ramps and other assistive support such as student volunteers guiding people with vision impairment.
I also want to note they had sign language interpreters for every panel session!!
That is impressive.
I presented my PhD topic which I started June this year at the Social Policy Research Centre, at University of New South Wales (UNSW), in Sydney, Australia.
My PhD topic is a buildup of my honours thesis which I presented at the 1st conference!
This time, I talked about progress in the Deaf Muslim Community in Sydney since then, and what I will do in my PhD, such as use auto-ethnography to explore the identity and belonging of Australian Muslim Women with hearing loss.
Even though I just started my PhD, being able to attend this conference and reflect on the significance of my topic was important for me. It gave me the motivation and inspiration to keep going.
I am grateful for my UNSW Scientia Scholarship which allowed be to take part of this conference.
After the 2nd day finished, we were all invited to the Mayor of Batu City (which is close to Malang) for a ceremony and dinner!
It was an amazing honour for all of us!
All the conference speakers, attendees, students, volunteers and other delegates were invited. We saw a few performances by people with disability, a video about touring Batu and speech from the Mayor.
Deaf Community in Malang
I also had an amazing time meeting the deaf community in Malang Indonesia!
They were all amazing and friendly people and we even exchanged sign language!
It was also amazing to bump into them the next day after the conference, by coincidence .
Of course, my friend and I did a lot of sight seeing in Malang and Surabaya! You can check out the photos on my instagram.
Thank you to all the organisers and committee for an amazing conference.
See below for video highlights about the conference.
Writer: Ayah Wehbe
This story is reposted from SilentSigns.net