Regional Initiative: Accessible Digital Textbooks for All
Learn how to move towards inclusive education through accessible digital textbooks and materials
All children and adolescents have the same human rights and must enjoy the same opportunities to have an education and reach their full potential.
However, children and adolescents with disabilities, as well as those with learning difficulties or those who experience various ways of acquiring knowledge and skills, have historically been the most excluded from educational systems. This must change.
Explore the infographic to know some data about this situation:1
Children and adolescents with disabilities are significantly less likely to be enrolled in school than their peers without disabilities.
Together with our partners around the world, we are promoting innovative solutions that can be integrated into the educational systems of the region.
Our goal is that children and adolescents with disabilities, as well as those who have learning difficulties or experiencing various ways of acquiring knowledge and skills, can have the same opportunities to:
- attend the same school and enjoy all available learning and social interaction spaces, and
- benefit from the same content, textbooks and educational materials, taking into account the different ways of learning of each student.
Discover what we are working on
Strategies to support countries in moving towards inclusive education
- Promoting the adoption of Accessible Digital Textbooks (ADT) production standards and recommendations among stakeholders in the publishing ecosystem throughout their production chains.
- Working closely and collaboratively with Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) to reflect their requirements throughout the implementation of the ADT initiative.
Promoting increased funding and capacity for ADT production.
- Providing technical assistance to government partners to develop ADT standards and recommendations based on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and their validation by stakeholders involved in the book chain.
- Promoting the use of state-of-the-art software that applies UDL to increase and stimulate ADT supply and demand.
- Influencing policy design and funding to guarantee progressive transition of the educational system towards the use of ADT in the national curriculum and the availability of technological tools that enable teachers to evaluate the learning outcomes of students with or without disabilities or learning difficulties.
- Advocating with OPDs for the inclusion of all accessible adaptations in copyrighted textbooks and learning materials in the curriculum to ensure access for all learners.
- Facilitating knowledge management among stakeholders involved in the book chain to foster confidence and motivation, guide decision-making and appropriate actions to implement the initiative in countries.
- Documenting and systematizing each stage of the process, including developing and validating standards and collecting reliable, sufficient and updated information on learning outcomes of processes based on UDL and using ADT. This will enable the generation of evidence to provide feedback to scale up the initiative to the national level.
- Promoting the exchange of experiences and knowledge between different stakeholders of the education system and the book chain, including the facilitation of South-South cooperation.
- Supporting the development of a training process to improve the capacities of all stakeholders of the education system and the book chain. This will help create local capacities at the country level for ADT production and use, based on UDL principles.
Explore our resources
1 United Nations Children Fund, Reconocidos, Counted, Included. Using data to shed light on the well-being of children with disabilities, UNICEF, New York, November 2021.
2 United Nations Children Fund, The Right of Children with Disabilities to Education: A Rights-Based Approach to Inclusive Education, UNICEF, Ginebra, 2012.
3 Filmer, Deon, ‘Disability, Poverty, and Schooling in Developing Countries: Results from 14 household surveys’, Wordbank Economic Review, vol.22. no. 1, January 2008, pp. 141-163.
4 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, EFA Global Monitoring Report 2010: Reaching the Marginalized, UNESCO, Paris, 2010, p. 184.
5 United Nations Children Fund, ‘Children and Young People with Disabilities Fact Sheet, May 2013, available in: <https://sites.unicef.org/disabilities/files/Factsheet_A5-o_spanish-r4.pdf>, accessed on February 2022.
7 United Nations Children Fund, It’s About Inclusion: Access to Education, Health, and Social Protection Services for Children with Disabilities in Armenia, UNICEF, 2012.
8 United Nations Children Fund, Counted, Included. Using data to shed light on the well-being of children with disabilities, UNICEF, New York, November 2021.
9 Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Panorama Social de América Latina, 2021, ECLAC, (LC/PUB.2021/17-P), Santiago, 2022.