Are accessible school books and study materials for primary & secondary school available for all children with disabilities, without additional costs?
Primary and secondary education has to be provided for free, children and their families do not need to pay for their education. In order to enable children with disabilities participating at compulsory and free education support measures might be necessary – such as accessible school books and study material.
Accessible schoolbooks are an important prerequisite to enable inclusive education. But only 9 percent of respondents answered with yes that such accessible study material exists for free for all persons with disabilities. In many countries such accessible schoolbooks are available – but at extra cost, which needs to be paid by the family of the child with disabilities (Guatemala, Antigua And Barbuda, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, United Kingdom) or like in Poland the family has the possibility to apply for refund of the extra cost. Another problem is outdated study material or only limited choice (not all existing and used books are available in accessible formats) – (United Kingdom, Albania, Suriname, Greece, Austria). It was also mentioned that even though such material exists in accessible formats the available copies are limited and therefore not every child with disabilities has the chance to obtain such (Madagascar, Belize, Bangladesh). Amongst the 53 percent of respondents who replied with yes, with qualifications also the fact that accessible schoolbooks do not exist for all types of disabilities (India, Ireland, Haiti, Netherlands, Italy, Bangladesh). In Afghanistan and Madagascar schoolbooks in accessible formats are only available thanks to the support of NGOs.