Is sufficient public funding available to ensure that all children with disabilities in primary and secondary schools of the mainstream education system receive learning opportunities equal to their non-disabled peers?
Reasonable accommodation has to be provided, meaning the sum of many single measures meeting the special needs of all children with disabilities – buildings and classrooms have to be accessible, transportation to school has to be available; information and assistive technologies have to be used,sign language should be used etc – and all measures to enable children with disabilities to engage in mainstream schools need to be provided for free or at the same cost as for all other learners.
In order to enable children with disabilities to being educated at mainstream schools for free also the assistive devices, special teaching support, alternative teaching methods, transportation to and from school etc. need to be provided for free. This however is only feasible if public funding is available for the schools to cover these additional costs. The result of the questionnaire responses shows a negative picture: only 9 percent of respondents stated that in their country there is sufficient public funding available to ensure that all children with disabilities receive the same learning opportunities than their non-disabled peers. 50 percent answered with a clear no. In several countries there is only public funding available for special schools (Pakistan, Ukraine) and in others only certain disabilities can be covered to enable participation at mainstream schools (United Kingdom). For children with disabilities from rural areas it is even more difficult to receive free education at mainstream schools- often the funding is only available for schools in urban settlements and children from rural and therefore often more disadvantaged areas are left behind (South Africa, India).