The World Health Assembly (resolution 58.23 on 'Disability, including prevention, management and rehabilitation') requested the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General to produce a World report on disability based on the best available scientific evidence. The WHO and the World Bank Group have jointly produced this first ever World report on disability to provide evidence for innovative policies and programmes that can improve the lives of people with disabilities, and facilitate implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report focuses on measures to improve accessibility and equality of opportunity; promoting participation and inclusion; and increasing respect for the autonomy and dignity of persons with disabilities. The report is directed at policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, academics, development agencies, and civil society and makes recommendations for action at the local, national and international level. Chapter 7 discusses education.
In Mozambique, 14% of children between two and nine years old are disabled. They are often hidden away by their families – in effect rendered invisible – and are vulnerable to discrimination as well as an increased risk of violence. These children need greater support from their families and better access to education, which would enable them to attend school with their peers. But that can only happen if the necessary facilities, equipment and training are provided.
This video shows the difficulties children with disabilities face to access education as weel as great examples of inclusive education.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities applies to persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It clarifies and qualifies how all categories of rights apply to persons with disabilities and identifies areas where adaptations have to be made in order that persons with disabilities can effectively exercise their rights, as well as areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced. Article 24 recognises the right of persons with disabilities to education, without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, the State having the obligation to ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning.
Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report) has produced a summary of content related to disability and education from their reports dating back to 2010. This summary provides background to those aiming to take part in the ongoing online consultation for the 2020 GEM Report on inclusion and education.
The summary gives ten key messages with accompanying evidence:
- Most countries have committed to protect the right to education for people with disabilities, which offers a basis for accountability.
- But assessing compliance with this right is complicated by blurred definitions and a lack of monitoring mechanisms.
- Organizations of persons with disabilities, as well as families and communities, can play a significant role in monitoring country commitments to the right to education.
- There is a lack of concrete data showing the true scale of disabilities worldwide and its link to education, although this should improve soon.
- We know that marginalization is more acute for children with disabilities.
- A relatively larger share of children with disabilities live in poorer countries.
- Children with disabilities are less likely to attend and complete primary school
- Those with disabilities are more likely to be without basic literacy skills
- Disability intersects with other disadvantages to exacerbate children’s disadvantage.
- Poverty is both a potential cause and a consequence of disability
- Girls and those in conflict with disabilities can be especially vulnerable.
- Different disabilities create very different education-related challenges
The summary also lists ten recommendations on education policies highlighted in previous GEM Reports as being able to counteract marginalization caused by disabilities:
- Governments should fulfil Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities commitments to set up mechanisms for coordination, independent monitoring, enforcement, complaint and reparation.
- Measuring progress in education for children with disabilities requires also having measures based on nationally representative household surveys, rather than only on children who are in school.
- Governments should develop inclusive curricula to help break down barriers faced by children with disabilities in the classroom.
- Separating children from their peers or families is detrimental to their development and potential.
- Teachers must be supported with training and pedagogical tools to reach children with special needs.
- More teachers with disabilities should be hired.
- Multiple sectors should provide early childhood services to reach children comprehensively.
- Approaches to support people living with disabilities should involve the community to alleviate societal barriers to progress.
- Countries should enforce minimum standards on school accessibility for children with disabilities.
- Additional funds are required to meet the education needs of children with disabilities.
Based upon Plan International's dataset of 1.4 million sponsored children, the report compares sponsored children with a disability to those without, from 30 countries worldwide. The report, produced in collaboration with London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, reveals that children with disabilities in developing countries are being held back from an education. The findings will help Plan International - and other researchers and organisations - to improve responses to the needs of children with disabilities, particularly their health and education.
This report on education and disability synthesises current evidence around the scale of the challenge, highlighting levels of exclusion from education faced by children with disabilities, as well as outlining the common barriers faced in gaining access to a quality education. It also aims to set out the case for inclusive education systems, where children with disabilities are brought into mainstream schools, and classrooms and schools respond and adapt more effectively to their needs. Finally, the report summarises the policy responses which can help bring down the common barriers – from the family, local communities and national government, through to the international community – setting out clear set of areas of action and policy recommendations for governments, donors and the international community.
The 2013 edition of The state of the world’s children is dedicated to the situation of children with disabilities. The report examines the barriers – from inaccessible buildings to dismissive attitudes, from invisibility in official statistics to vicious discrimination – that deprive children with disabilities of their rights and keep them from participating fully in society. It also lays out some of the key elements of inclusive societies that respect and protect the rights of children with disabilities, adequately support them and their families, and nurture their abilities – so that they may take advantage of opportunities to flourish and make their contribution to the world. Chapter 3 includes a section specifically on inclusive education (pages 27 to 36).
The General Comment 9 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child interprets the Convention on the Rights of the Child as regards the rights of children with disabilies, including their right to education (see paragraphs 62 to 69)
This guide offers practical ideas for including children and young people with disabilities in education before, during or after a crisis. It outlines some of the common challenges that children and young people with disabilities might face with education in or after an emergency. It also discusses some constraints or concerns that teachers might have with supporting their learning in these circumstances. The guide offers practical ways in which teachers can tackle these issues and welcome learners with disabilities into their classes.