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It's about ability

Children with disabilities have the same rights as all children to be seen, to be heard and to participate and contribute. Robbing them of these opportunities is actually a terrible waste of potentially happy futures and national human resources. 
                                                                    Hans Olsen,
                                    UNICEF Representative to Malaysia
                                       Special Representative to Brunei

© Photo courtesy of the Malaysia Special Olympics, 2010

Have you ever felt left out? Children and adults who find it difficult to see, learn, walk or hear often feel excluded.

There are many barriers that can prevent them from participating in the same way as others, and most of these barriers are imposed by society. A child in a wheelchair, for example, wants to go to school, too. But he or she may not be able to do so because the school has no ramp and the principal or teachers are not supportive.

For everyone to be included, we need to change existing rules, attitudes and even buildings.

Learn more:

§ Tips for inclusion

§ Take action today!

Understanding disability

Our understanding of disability has changed over time. In the past, persons with disabilities have been regarded as objects of charity and passive recipients of welfare. This view is giving way to a human rights-based approach to disability, which rejects the long-established idea that obstacles to the participation of persons with disabilities arise primarily from their impairment.

Instead, it focuses on eliminating barriers created by society that prevent persons with disabilities from enjoying their human rights on an equal basis with others. These barriers include negative attitudes, discriminatory policies and practices, and inaccessible environments.

Learn more:

§ Disability: Facts and myths

§ Read “Its about ability: Learning Guide

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an agreement by countries around the world to make sure that people with disabilities and people without disabilities are treated equally. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which was adopted on 13 December 2006, makes many promises. Its 50 articles clearly explain what these promises are.

UNICEF and its partners are working to encourage all countries to ratify the Convention. This will protect children with disabilities from discrimination and promote their inclusion in society. We all have a role to play.

Learn more:

§ UNICEF in action in Malaysia

§ Read “It’s about ability: Explanation”





It's about ability

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Learning Guide

Video: Disability

26 June 2011:
UNICEF ED talks about equity for children with disabilities.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

R-Word Campaign

Convention on the Rights of the Child


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