Center for International Disability Advocacy and Diplomacy

Strategic Plan

The 6 roman pillars of CIDAD.
The Center aligns with and bolsters the St. Cloud State University strategic plan, mission and vision of engaged students, campus, and communities. Integral to the development of the strategic plan of the Center are six pillars that align with its mission. The six areas are highlighted below.

Develop Global Academies

Chinese intern teacher teaching Chinese culture in a Deaf classroom full of Deaf students.

Develop global academies that will focus on providing education, empowerment, advocacy, global competency, and inclusive cultural diplomacy. K-12 students with disabilities will gain skills and knowledge to effectively navigate and lead within cross-cultural environments. Global academies will prepare future emerging youth leaders within the global disability community while fulfilling Our Husky Compact to engage as a member of a diverse and multicultural world. This framework will also work to reduce the educational gap meeting the Minnesota State Equity 2030 vision. Students with disabilities will be provided inclusive opportunities for strengthening and building leadership skills for becoming transformative leaders within their communities. 

Provide Education and Training

Xiaorong giving a presentation while wearing a black outfit.

Develop and coordinate education and training to promote higher education, advancement, disability advocacy, leadership and inclusive diplomacy. In the 2022-2023 academic year, CIDAD has two areas of focus. The first is on creating digital badges and micro credentials that advance knowledge and understanding of DEIA through a disability lens. The second is implementation of a newly developed Certificate in Deaf Leadership and Advocacy that focuses on building capacity and leadership within local, national, and global Deaf communities.

Create Strategic Partnerships

Group picture of an attendee in wheelchair, Dr. Kathyn Johnson, Dr Amy Knopf, former senator Tom Harkin and colleagues at the US State Department during the United Nations for a Disability Event with vibrant flags showcasing a variety of colors from different countries above them.

Develop a mechanism for scaling up strategic network partners. Foundational to this vision are the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy and St. Cloud State University's commitment to the 10 Basic Principles of the UN Academic Impact. The three initial strategic partners signed MOUs at the Harkin Summit in Belfast, Ireland in May of 2022. These partners are: 1) Harkin Institute; 2) Purple Tuesday; and, 3) Sorenson Communications.

Engage in Research and Development

Group photo on top of the Great Wall consisting of 14 people of both genders, all wearing black Confucius t-shirts. The background has vivid green forest surrounding the Great Wall from all around.

Engage in inclusive scientific diplomacy, research and development that fosters the translation of knowledge among and between countries and mobilizes efforts to disseminate and implement best practices within the global disability community. The first CIDAD research project under the It’s Time initiative is focused on development of Chinese sign language interpreter education and certification. This is a three-year project that seeks to build a foundational platform for advancing equity and access to quality language through certified Chinese sign language interpreters.

Advance Disability Policy

Dr. Amy Knopf gave a presentation while wearing a gray suit.

Engage with government, non-government, and community stakeholders to promote disability policy founded upon the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Facilitate dialog and discussions related to human rights for people with disabilities. Represent the Center on local, national, and global committees and boards. Provide evidence-based data to inform disability policy.

Promote Accessibility and Advocacy

Dr. Kathy Johnson standing in between a blind female with a cane wearing a dress with a scarf and a guy in a business suit. Background has a tan wall and an advertisement promoting disability rights.

Provide consultancy and expertise on best practices in providing accessibility and advocacy. CIDAD offers technical support and learning about best practices and innovations in Assistive Technology for accessibility and advocacy for people with disabilities and their families. An AT Lab has been created that opened to faculty, students and community members in the Spring of 2023.