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.
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).
Published in 2015, this document is the second of a series of thematic mappings on the implementation of the right to education, following a first edition on Girls’ and Women’s Right to Education. It presents concrete measures adopted by countries to ensure the full enjoyment of the right to education for persons with disabilities.
The document is based on national reports submitted for the Eighth Consultation on the monitoring of the implementation of the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960) and the UNESCO Recommendation against Discrimination in Education (1960).
The first part of the document provides a thematic analysis of measures and promising practices that have been reported on by countries. The second part compiles in factsheets progress and challenges in constitutional and legislative frameworks and measures, for the 48 countries that reported on measures taken, out of the 59 reporting countries.
The document is intended to serve as a practical tool for both advocacy and monitoring. By highlighting concrete measures taken by countries, it also offers a basis for regional and international co-operation and shares promising practices from which other countries can learn.
This 94-page report found that South Africa has failed to guarantee the right to education for many of the country’s children and young adults due to widespread discrimination against children with disabilities in enrolment decisions. Human Rights Watch research in five out of South Africa’s nine provinces showed that children with disabilities face discriminatory physical and attitudinal barriers, often beginning early in children’s lives when government officials classify them according to their disabilities.
Under the law, all Lebanese children should have access to education free from discrimination. Lebanon’s Law 220 of 2000 grants persons with disabilities the right to education, health, and other basic rights. It set up a committee dedicated to optimizing conditions for children registered as having a disability to participate in all classes and tests.
In reality, the educational path of children with disabilities in Lebanon is strewn with logistical, social, and economic pitfalls that mean they often face a compromised school experience—if they can enroll at all.
The new SUHAKAM report aims to increase the number of children with learning disabilities receiving inclusive and quality primary education by raising awareness of the challenges they experience in this regard, and identifying the gaps in information about education for these children. It is also designed to help build connections between government agencies and civil society to promote more participatory, transparent and accountable education policy. The document examines challenges to realizing the right to education for children with learning disabilities, including logistical difficulties in accessing learning facilities, inconsistent implementation of screening and assessment processes, the lack of adequate funding for programs, and the lack of adequate support in learning institutions. It also makes recommendations aimed at helping the government effectively improve access to education for this community.
SUHAKAM’s research utilizes the four-step OPERA Framework for uncovering patterns of socio-economic rights deprivation and linking these deprivations to weaknesses in design or implementation of government policies. The analysis builds on a series of workshops in which SUHAKAM’s staff was introduced to OPERA’s tools, including the identification of indicators and benchmarks, gathering primary and secondary data, and analyzing budgets. Researchers at SUHAKAM deployed OPERA to clearly articulate the government’s legal obligations and to examine the current challenges that exist in realizing the right to education for children with learning disabilities. The project was spurred by concerns that a large number of children with learning disabilities appear to be excluded from primary education, while little accurate data is readily available in this regard.
A recurrent theme in the report is the need for the government to gather and make available accurate disaggregated data on children with learning disabilities, along with related budgetary information. The report therefore recommends that the government collect such data and statistics on access to education among children with learning disabilities, at both the primary and secondary levels, and that the collection of this data be systematized and shared among all relevant government agencies.
The present study focuses on inclusive education as a means to realize the universal right to education, including for persons with disabilities. It analyses the relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, highlights good practices and discusses challenges and strategies for the establishment of inclusive education systems.