The Eighth Commonwealth Education Conference held in Colombo in August 1980 drew attention to the special educational needs of children and adults who suffer from physical or mental disablement. The Conference recognised that a fresh interest in special education, which would be generated by the 1981 International Year of Disabled Persons (declared by the United Nations General Assembly) provided an excellent opportunity for the Commonwealth Secretariat's Education Division to renew activities in this very important sector of education (8CEC Report, Paragraph 140).


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