Innovative Practice 2020 on Inclusive Education and ICT

Training educators and municipalities in inclusive physical education

Open Doors to Inclusion is a joint project of the Rodrigo Mendes (RM) Institute, a Brazilian NGO working on Inclusive Education, UNICEF, and the FC Barcelona Foundation. The project promotes the inclusion of students with disabilities in Brazilian schools by training educators and policy makers in inclusive physical education and related topics, such as accessibility regulations and the development of inclusive school projects. The Open Doors to Inclusion course has been delivered in person by Inclusive Education experts and made available online. More than 46,000 people attended the online course in 2018 and 2019.

“We not only have to get out of the comfort zone but get others out of it. To think about inclusion is to think about our practices and our own disabilities.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Open Doors to Inclusion
Organisation:Rodrigo Mendes Institute and Partners
of Implementation
Start Year2013


  • The online course has drawn participants from all 26 states of Brazil.
  • Person-to-person courses were held in 16 municipalities.


Physical education is often one of the least inclusive school activities.


The RM Institute, UNICEF, and the FC Barcelona Foundation launched the in-person Open Doors to Inclusion course in 2013, during which Inclusive Education experts trained 450 teachers from the Brazilian cities that would be hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2014.

Participants identify barriers to the inclusion of children with disabilities in their schools, and design and implement their own inclusive physical education activities involving staff, students, families, and the wider community. Participating policy makers from municipal Secretariats of Education assess local public education policies and propose improvements to the services offered to students with disabilities. As a result, several cities have taken actions focused on accessibility and Inclusive Education

The in-person course was held from 2013 to 2016, reaching 16 Brazilian municipalities. In 2018 the online version was created Since then, the course has been used across all 26 Brazilian states.

A little boy grins while is stepping over barriers during physical exercise.

Participants design and implement their own inclusive physical education activities.


Open Doors to Inclusion was first launched with funding from the FC Barcelona Foundation. Developing the online version of the course cost approximately $137,000, and the RM Institute has established an endowment fund to finance future course developments, which is supported by the US-based investment firm JP Morgan Chase.

Since the online version of Open Doors to Inclusion is freely available, it can be easily used and replicated. The RM Institute plans to translate it into English and Spanish.

The organization will also establish an award programme to recognize the best practices created by course participants so that these can be shared and adopted by educators and policy makers.



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