The Zero Project 2016 started its selection process of Innovative Practices and Policies in the field of inclusive education and ICT in June. It has received an astounding 337 nominations from 98 countries (including two from internationally operational organizations). These nominations represent a unique wealth of innovative solutions.
What they demonstrate is that there is a global movement of practitioners implementing inclusive education “on the ground,” helping children with all kinds of disabilities, including those with multiple disabilities, around the world, in all contexts, even in emergency situations.
The Zero Project’s global reach is evident from the number of nominations received from each continent. The following is the breakdown, including the two countries most represented in each region:
South Africa: 7,
Middle East: 27
North America: 29
South America/Caribbean: 17
International level: 2
A first screening of all nominations shows that roughly half of all nominations involve inclusive education, a quarter involve both education and ICT (using technology to support accessible and inclusive education), and another quarter exclusively Information and Communication Technologies.
Nominations from low income countries tend to have a “universal approach” towards inclusive education (for instance, by simultaneously offering learning materials, technological support, transport to school, train-the-trainer-models, assistance in the classroom for the disabled child, as well as vocation training, etc, whereas nominations from high income countries tend to have more detail-orientated projects, focusing more on specific aspects of advancing inclusive education, such as developing curricula or web tools.
The Zero Project team, with the help of its partners, is currently shortlisting all nominations, based on its three criteria: innovation, impact and scalability.
The shortlist is likely to include 190 to 200 nominations and will be completed in September, at which time the Zero Project will communicate the most outstanding results.
In September and October, the Zero Project expert network will be asked to vote on the shortlisted nominations as the next step in the selection process.