Inclusive education is not a marginal issue, but is central to the achievement of high quality education for all learners and the development of more inclusive societies.
The democratic and human rights-based intent of Inclusive Education is defined in the Salamanca Statement and represented in the 'recognition of the need to work towards 'schools for all' - institutions which include everybody, celebrate differences, support learning, and respond to individual needs'. A commitment to this approach is central to UNICEF's work in the region.
Article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities describes persons with disabilities as 'those who have long-term, physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others'.
This working definition of disability acknowledges the importance of the context and environment in enabling or disabling individuals from participating effectively within society.
Inclusive Education is not only about issues of input, such as access, and those related to processes such as teacher training, but it involves a shift in underlying values and beliefs, along with very specific approaches, positions, and solutions. A broad range of strategies at all levels are needed to realize the right of children with disabilities to inclusive education:
-political will and good governance
-removing the barriers to inclusive education
-right to respect for identity, culture and language
To learn more about how UNICEF is promoting a rights-based approach to Inclusive Education for children with disabilities, click here.
Inclusive education conference in Moscow
For proceedings, documents and video from the Moscow Conference, click here.