Basic education and gender equality

Inclusive Education

© UNICEF/UGDA2012-00118/Michele Sibiloni
Basketball players who are wheelchair users at Lira District Union of Persons with Disabilities in Northern Uganda.

As efforts accelerate towards realizing MDG 2 and achieving Education for All, UNICEF is focusing efforts on a large segment of children who are not in school and have long remained invisible, hidden and forgotten: children with disabilities. Children with disabilities are significantly less likely to be in school than their peers without disabilities. Children who are disabled are more likely to be poor and remain poor throughout their lifetimes, due to lack of education and job opportunities.
Ensuring that children with disabilities have access to inclusive, quality education is critical to reverse the cycles of poverty and exclusion. Moreover, the creation of inclusive education systems for all children is fundamental for achieving universal education goals and realizing the human rights of all children. Inclusive education is central to UNICEF’s equity agenda and promotes meaningful learning opportunities to all children, including those with disabilities, within regular schools.
UNICEF’s 2013 State of the World’s Children Report provides a strong call for action for children with disabilities. Some of the key actions that need to be taken include supporting the practice and culture of inclusion across education systems; building or retrofitting schools to eliminate physical, communicational, informational and attitudinal barriers; ensuring that curricula and learning resources are accessible to all; training teachers to foster a commitment to inclusion across schools and communities; collecting data about disability to fill gaps and monitor progress; and supporting Ministries of Education to take responsibility for educating all children, including those with disabilities, through an inclusive system.

From 10 to 12 June 2014, the seventh session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The thematic discussions include: 1) incorporating the CRPD into the post-2015 development agenda; 2) youth with disabilities; and 3) national implementation and monitoring.

UNICEF Headquarters and Regional Office in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, together with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, will be co-hosting a side event to the conference. This side event aims to drive discussions around reaching consensus on a post-2015 goal that addresses existing inequalities in accessing education and promotes inclusive, quality education.

Join the conversation on Twitter and follow @UNICEFEducation!

For more information on inclusive education and children with disabilities, please visit UNICEF's disabilities webpages as well as UNICEF CEE/CIS Regional Office's inclusive education website.


The right of children with disabilities to education: A rights-based approach to Inclusive Education



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