Innovative Practice 2020 on Inclusive Education and ICT

Universal design-based practices for public early childhood education

Projeto Brincar is a project implemented by the São Paulo-based disability NGO Mais Diferenças, in partnership with the Volkswagen Foundation (Fundação Volkswagen) and São Paulo’s Municipal Secretariat of Education. Educators and families are trained in accessible and inclusive pedagogical practices based on Universal Design principles to make early childhood education more inclusive for children with disabilities living in São Paulo. The project began as a pilot in 13 schools, training in its first year 406 educators. In 2019, the Project reaches more than 500 schools, having training over 2,100 educators.

“We often think there is a model to be followed, but each child is unique, each class is unique. This guarantees a fulfilling childhood.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Projeto Brincar
Organisation:Mais Diferenças And Partners
of Implementation
Brazil/ Sao Paulo
Start Year2017


  • Over 500 municipal schools were reached and 2,100 educators trained by 2019.
  • 4,222 have participated in workshops for families.
  • 30,000+ children with and without disabilities have benefited.


Many children with disabilities still miss out on educational opportunities because inclusive teaching practices are not always used in public education.


The project promotes accessible and inclusive pedagogical practices in public preschool education by training educators in theory and method, by giving practical support to educators in the classroom, and through conducting workshops with families of preschool-age children. Such workshops include music and painting activities performed by children both with and without disabilities as well as their families. Moreover, the project supports the production and the dissemination of pedagogical resources for Inclusive Education.

The practices proposed by Projeto Brincar follow Universal Design principles, such as the use of pictures and other visualizations as well as audio-descriptions in order to benefit all children. Expert advice is given by a group of pedagogical consultants, which includes persons with different types of disabilities.

As of November 2019, over 500 municipal schools have been reached and 2,109 educators have been trained. Notably, 98 per cent of training and workshop participants agree that the practices proposed by Projeto Brincar positively impact the development of all students.

Workshops are based on play, pictures, and music.


The project is entirely funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, and is implemented by the NGO Mais Diferenças in partnership with São Paulo’s Municipal Secretariat of Education. It has an annual budget of $232,000.

Mais Diferencias believes that to replicate the project successfully it is important to cooperate with all levels of the municipal education management and to seek dialogues with teachers, children, and their parents.

The project’s methodology and lessons learned have been shared among state and municipal education departments throughout Brazil and were also included in the early childhood education curriculum of the City of São Paulo.

Mais Diferenças’ objective is to expand Projeto Brincar to as many schools as possible in São Paulo, with plans to reach an additional 100 schools in 2020 for a total of 600.


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