Thammasat University in collaboration with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security hosted the 15th National Conference on Persons with Disabilities for the year 2023 (NCPD2023) on the 4th floor of the SC3 Building, Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus, with the objective of exchanging knowledge in research, academic, innovation and technology development in promoting and developing the quality of life for the people with disabilities. This provides opportunities for disability organizations and related agencies to share experiences between each other, including communicating the knowledge of the organization to the public through academic seminars in more diverse dimensions.
Thammasat University has been driving the goal of equality to create an educational space for all groups of people both at the policy level, and in the development of projects and innovations for people with disabilities. Physically, the university uses the concept of “Universal Design” to create access to environments and resources that provide full participation for everyone to use conveniently and equally within all university programs and activities. There is also support for educational welfare for students with disabilities with a quota for students with disabilities to study in each faculty, including the Disabled Student Services Center (DSS Center) that is modern and equipped with full-service facilities.
Assoc. Prof. Gasinee Witoonchart, Rector of Thammasat University, said that Thammasat University is ready to move forward with determination to be the leader of an educational institution for all people through creating a learning space that responds to various lifestyles so that all communities can live together equally and sustainably without leaving anyone behind. This is in line with the drive towards sustainable development goals, SDG10: Reduce Inequality.
In addition to policies and guidelines at the university level, Thammasat as well always develop new projects and innovations for people with disabilities to ensure equality and happiness of everyone in Thammasat, such as the production of handicapped care aids and the innovation of the Rangsit Model of the Research Unit in Social Design, etc.
“From the great commitment and determination of Thammasat University as a result, we are the first university to receive the Friendly Design Award. It is also the only university in Thailand that has received this award for five years in a row, which is more than half a decade since the university has been advancing society as the leader of an educational institution for all people. From now on, Thammasat University will continue to develop society according to the aspiration that strives to promote equality for all groups of people, both nationally and globally, “Assoc. Prof. Gasinee said.
For the 15th National Symposium on Persons with Disabilities under the theme of “Promoting the Well-being of Persons with Disabilities through Innovation and Sustainable Development”, there were many interesting lectures and Ted Talks on social issues and development in disability research and innovation, such as a special talk on “Well-being Promotion for Persons with Disabilities through Innovation and Sustainable Development” from UNDP Resident Representative to Thailand and a special lecture on “The Social Movement of Disability in the Disruptive World” by Ms. Yukiko Nakanishi from the Deputy Chairperson of DPI Japan.
In addition, the event also featured academic and research articles, exchange of experiences and good lessons on persons with disabilities, demonstration of skills and competences with underlying disabilities, including having an exhibition of work and selling products which are works from various groups of people with disabilities as well.
For the year 2024, Thammasat University handed over the flag to Udon Thani Rajabhat University in hosting the 16th National Academic Seminar on Persons with Disabilities.