Are decisions on government level to promote inclusive education based on objective and fair procedures, and on a dialogue in which all parties can debate all available options, including young people with disabilities themselves?
Many experts believe that only an ongoing procedure that includes all persons with disabilities including self-representatives can achieve progress towards inclusive education. Especially civil society and persons with all disabilities have to be included in the process.
“The subject of inclusive education is very much discussed at the civil society” (Popova, Ukraine) and “Inclusive education is promoted by disability organizations and Bridge of Hope NGO is the key promoter and advocate of inclusive education in Armenia” (Tadevosyan, Armenia) – according to these and other respondents the initiative to discuss and have an active dialogue on inclusive education with all stakeholders involved is mainly taken by DPOs and civil society, not so much from government’s side (Senegal, Malawi, Belize, Ukraine, Armenia). In Moldova “there is a National Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which address issues of inclusive education”. 29 percent of respondents stated that a dialogue does not exist and there seems not to be an open and ongoing procedure to include persons with disabilities towards an inclusive mainstream education system. 24 percents of experts positively replied – dialogue with civil society and DPOs exists and is actively encouraged.
Maureen Piggot, Inclusion Europe, United Kingdom: “Formal consultations take place. The decisions do not always reflect the views of people with disabilities, families or disability organisations.”
Maheshwar GHIMIRE, Nepal Disabled Human Rights Center, Nepal: “DPOs are some time part of the discussion; however, demand of special schools in such meetings overlap the real plan of inclusive education program.”
Article 24: Education
- States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning directed to:
- The full development of human potential and sense of dignity and self-worth, and the strengthening of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and human diversity;
- The development by persons with disabilities of their personality, talents and creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities, to their fullest potential;
- Enabling persons with disabilities to participate effectively in a free society.
- In realizing this right, States Parties shall ensure that:
- Persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability;
- Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live;
- Reasonable accommodation of the individual’s requirements is provided;
- Persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education;
- Effective individualized support measures are provided in environments that maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion.
- States Parties shall enable persons with disabilities to learn life and social development skills to facilitate their full and equal participation in education and as members of the community. To this end, States Parties shall take appropriate measures, including:
- Facilitating the learning of Braille, alternative script, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication and orientation and mobility skills, and facilitating peer support and mentoring;
- Facilitating the learning of sign language and the promotion of the linguistic identity of the deaf community;
- Ensuring that the education of persons, and in particular children, who are blind, deaf or deafblind, is delivered in the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication for the individual, and in environments which maximize academic and social development.
- In order to help ensure the realization of this right, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to employ teachers, including teachers with disabilities, who are qualified in sign language and/or Braille, and to train professionals and staff who work at all levels of education. Such training shall incorporate disability awareness and the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, educational techniques and materials to support persons with disabilities.
- States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access general tertiary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. To this end, States Parties shall ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities.