Implementing Inclusive Education

A Commonwealth Guide to Implementing Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

image of Implementing Inclusive Education
Inclusion in education is a process of enabling all children to learn and participate effectively within mainstream school systems, without segregation. It is about shifting the focus from altering disabled people to fit into society to transforming society, and the world, by changing attitudes, removing barriers and providing the right support.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires the development of an inclusive education system for all. This revised and expanded second edition of Implementing Inclusive Education examines the adoption of the Convention and provides examples, both through illustrated case studies and on the accompanying DVDs, of how inclusive education systems for all children have been established in pockets throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

The message is clear: it can be done. The task is now to implement inclusive education worldwide.



Inclusive Schools and Classrooms

Examples of classroom and individual measures to accommodate disabled students vary considerably; some constitute integration, rather than inclusion. This chapter first examines the UNESCO publication, Embracing Diversity: Toolkit for Creating Inclusive Learning-Friendly Environments (Box 8.1), and then looks at perspectives for bringing equality into the primary classroom from two experienced practitioners (Box 8.2). It also examines the CSIE’s Index for Inclusion, getting school buildings right, and how to provide for deaf and deafblind children in poorer countries. It shows how sensory impairment can be accommodated at local level with examples from Samoa (Boxes 8.3 and 8.5), Kenya (Boxes 8.4 and 8.8), St Lucia (Box 8.6) and Bangladesh (Box 8.7). Singapore provides an example of a high school for those who fail their exams and how students can be turned around – this is not inclusive, but it is effective (Box 8.9). Two schools in Sri Lanka show that effectiveness depends on staff and management attitudes (Box 8.10). India has many different approaches (Boxes 8.11 and 8.12). South Africa furnishes examples of developing inclusion (Boxes 8.14, 8.16 and 8.17), while Namibia shows how with intervention, access and support a disabled student can achieve (Box 8.19). Swaziland (Box 8.13), St Lucia (Box 8.18) and Uganda (Box 8.20) demonstrate that school leaders with vision are crucial. The struggle of individual disabled teachers to become established is shown in India and Mozambique (Boxes 8.21 and 8.22). Boxes 8.23 to 8.34 provide examples of classroom adjustments in England to include a range of primary and secondary children. The chapter includes a useful annex on how classrooms have been made accessible in the UK. More discussion of what is needed to provide an inclusive classroom environment and prevent drop-out is offered in Chapter 9.


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