Is there a legal framework on inclusive education in place for the whole country, for compulsory education (normally primary and secondary schools)?
Children with disabilities should not be excluded from free and compulsory education and should have access to quality education on an equal basis with others in their communities in which they live. The legal framework should encompass a subjective right to inclusive education for every child with disabilities. Inclusive education is not equal to education in special schools or fitting persons with disabilities into existing systems and means a lot more than integrating children with disabilities in mainstream schools. Inclusive education means modifying the mainstream education system, teaching methods etc. to accommodate all learning needs. Number 7 of this questionnaire already asks about the right to receive free and compulsory primary education within the mainstream educational system – to further emphasize on making mainstream schools inclusive question number 17 has its focus on the legal framework and whether such exists, or not.
There are 23 percent of respondents who stated that a legal framework on inclusive education exists in their respective state – children with disabilities in the age of primary and secondary school (compulsory education) have the individual right to participate in mainstream education and their learning needs are met. More than 55 percent of respondents answered yes, with qualification: there is legislation in place for inclusive education but often no time frame is set, the reasonable accommodation to meet the needs of children with disabilities are lacking and most commonly segregated and special schools are still highly promoted and favored by the government. In many cases respondents define their country’s education system rather as integrative than inclusive (Antigua And Barbuda, Austria, Benin, Poland, Ireland, Australia).