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Right from the start: build inclusive societies through inclusive early childhood education

GLOBAL EDUCATION MONITORING REPORT TEAM
July 2021

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Early childhood education has the potential to expand opportunities for disadvantaged children, provided that programmes use inclusion as a guiding principle. While the international community has committed to inclusive education, countries vary in their efforts to extend this goal to early childhood. Universal access is the basis of inclusion, and countries must address barriers related to socio-economic status, ethnicity, gender, language, disability and remoteness. Cooperation among multiple actors to identify special needs early and provide integrated services is needed, as are inclusive curricula that support children’s socioemotional development and identity formation. Finally, educators must be given the knowledge, training, and support to implement inclusive practices and work with families from all backgrounds

 

Policy paper 46.

Inclusive education training guide

LEWIS, Ingrid
July 2021

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This package is designed to assist with the training of staff within CBM and its partners. It has been prepared with country and regional advisory staff in mind but will have value for project/ programme management and other staff too. It has been designed for use with small groups of participants (e.g., maximum 10-15).

This training package focuses on inclusive education. It interprets inclusive education in a broad sense as a dual process of bringing about education system change, at all levels of education, to the benefit of all learners; and supporting the needs of individual learners, especially those with disabilities. It is not a training about specific impairments, nor will it show participants how to identify, teach and support learners with specific impairments. Instead the package helps participants to understand better the overarching challenges being faced and the systematic programme and advocacy approaches that CBM, its partners and other similar organisations need to engage with.

 

This training package consists of the following booklets:

A Inclusive education and CBM

B Inclusive education and the community

C Participation and achievement for all learners

D Education system change

Frequently Asked Questions: Questions you have about inclusive education but didn’t know whom to ask

INCLUSION INTERNATIONAL
June 2021

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Inclusion International is often asked what we mean by “inclusive education”. Here are the most common questions from our members together with our responses. The responses are based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and General Comment 4 issued by the UN CRPD committee, which outlines the implications of the CRPD for inclusive education.

Questions:

  • What is inclusive education?
  • What are the differences between exclusion, segregation, integration and inclusion?
  • What are the key ingredients of an inclusive education system?
  • What are some of the steps toward achieving inclusive education?
  • What is the difference between an inclusive education system, an inclusive school and inclusive classroom/practices?
  • What is meant by the “twin–track” approach to funding inclusive education?
  • What is the difference between accessibility and reasonable accommodation?
  • How can teachers provide equal opportunities for all students within their allocated classrooms?
  • Is transforming special schools into resource centres a good strategy for moving towards an inclusive system?
  • What is sometimes called “inclusive education” but is not?
  • What are the benefits of inclusive education for students with disabilities?
  • Is inclusive education good only for students with disabilities?
  • Is inclusive education more expensive than segregation?

Disability-inclusive child safeguarding guidelines

WATTERS, Lauren
ORSANDER, Martina
May 2021

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Able Child Africa and Save the Children partnered to create the first international Disability-inclusive child safeguarding guidelines. These guidelines provide advice on how to plan for disability-inclusive child safeguarding, with practical solutions for organisations and practitioners working across development and humanitarian sectors on how to include children with disabilities in each step of the process.

For ease of reading, mini-read versions of the guidelines have also been developed. Part 1 outlines practical guidance for organisations. Part 2 outlines practical guidance for practitioners. For a full glossary and resource list, please refer to the full guidelines.

A Swedish cultural adaptation of the participation questionnaire Functional Scale of the Disability Evaluation System – Child version

AXELSSON, Anna Karin
ULLENHAG, Anna
ÖDMAN, Pia
2021

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Purpose: The aim was to culturally validate a questionnaire about children’s/youth’s participation to be used in a Swedish context.


Methods: FUNDES-Child, based on the well-established CASP, was chosen. Questions about engagement and hindering factors were added to the existing questions about frequency and independence in 20 activity areas. Using a qualitative, explorative design, 16 interviews with children/youths/caregivers were made to explore opinions about the questionnaire. Follow-up interviews confirmed the result of the revised questionnaire. Qualitative content analysis was performed.

 

Results: The interviews provided support for the questionnaire’s relevance by being a tool to assess important aspects of participation, to gain insights into one’s own/the child’s participation, and to promote ideas about what causes the degree of participation. To achieve comprehensiveness, no activity area was found to be missing nor superfluous. However, some examples were needed to be modified where “parades” are unusual in Sweden and therefore removed, while “singing in choir” was added. In search for comprehensibility, opinions about the layout of the first version were raised and a varying degree of understanding of wording and concepts were found and thus taken into account. 

 

Conclusions: The questionnaire can be used for establishing meaningful goals and to potentially increase children’s participation.

Joint submission on promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
HUMANITY & INCLUSION
INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE
WOMEN ENABLED INTERNATIONAL
WOMEN'S REFUGEE COMMISSION
April 2021

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Joint submission on promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 by Humanity & Inclusion, Human Rights Watch, International Disability Alliance, Women Enabled International and the Women’s Refugee Commission.

This submission sets out information and recommendations on promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls with disabilities in conflict and post-conflict situations. Women and girls with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by armed conflicts, yet remain underreported and excluded from peace and security processes. Women and girls with disabilities account for nearly one-fifth of all women and girls worldwide and face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on their gender, as well as their disability. Sustainable peace, recovery and inclusive humanitarian action requires the full, equal and meaningful participation of diverse women, including women and girls with disabilities. The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, in its report, should request member states, the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms, as well as other stakeholders to ensure that monitoring and reporting on the experiences of women and girls in conflicts includes the specific experiences of women and girls with disabilities, and ensure their meaningful participation in conflict prevention, response, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

How to talk to kids about disability inclusion

NANYENYA, Godfrey
April 2021

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Godfrey Nanyenya's work as a disability and inclusion specialist, involves community outreaches in the slum communities of Kampala engaging families raising children with disabilities in physiotherapy and inclusive home schooling. He encourages parents to talk to their children about disability as a normal topic. He suggests ways to approach the subject including: 

  • normalise disability
  • be mindful of language
  • keep it value neutral
  • don't shame them for their questions
  • say I don't know
  • point out similarities
  • make it a continuous conversation

Leave no girl with disabilities behind: Ensuring efforts to advance gender equality in education are disability-inclusive.

DIAMOND, Gloria
CASTRES, Pauline
April 2021

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This advocacy brief from the UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) and Leonard Cheshire draws attention to the main barriers to education for girls with disabilities, in the context of major opportunities for advocacy and tangible change in 2021.  The recommendations outlined are targeted at world leaders, governments, ministries, UN agencies and NGOs. They offer a framework for rights-based action and principles towards gender-responsive and inclusive education, to ensure that no girls with disabilities are left behind. 

Family Planning for Women and Girls with Disabilities

Dr FRASER, Erika
CORBY, Nick
MEANEY-DAVIS, Jessie
2021

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This is an updated evidence review looking at the evidence on factors affecting access to and uptake of family planning for women and girls with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries and the evidence on good practice on increasing full free and informed contraceptive choice for women and girls with disabilities.

 

Query:

1) What is the evidence on factors affecting access to and uptake of family planning for women and girls with disabilities in low and middle income countries, highlighting examples from FP2020 commitment-making countries?

2) What is the evidence on good practice on increasing full free and informed contraceptive choice for women and girls with disabilities – from the same countries or elsewhere? 

The effects of wheelchair mobility skills and exercise training on physical activity, fitness, skills and confidence in youth using a manual wheelchair

SOL, Marleen E
VERSCHUREN, Olaf
HOREMANS, Henricus
WESTERS, Paul
VISSER-MEILY, Johanna M A
DE GROOT, Janke F
Fit-for-the-Future Consortium
2021

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Purpose: To evaluate the effects of a combination of wheelchair mobility skills (WMS) training and exer- cise training on physical activity (PA), WMS, confidence in wheelchair mobility, and physical fitness. Methods: Youth using a manual wheelchair (n 1⁄4 60) participated in this practice-based intervention, with a waiting list period (16 weeks), exercise training (8 weeks), WMS training (8 weeks), and follow-up (16 weeks). Repeated measures included: PA (Activ8), WMS (Utrecht Pediatric Wheelchair Mobility Skills Test), confidence in wheelchair mobility (Wheelchair Mobility Confidence Scale), and physical fitness (cardio- respiratory fitness, (an)aerobic performance) and were analysed per outcome parameter using a multilevel model analyses. Differences between the waiting list and training period were determined with an unpaired sample t-test.

 

Results: Multilevel model analysis showed significant positive effects for PA (p1⁄40.01), WMS (p<0.001), confidence in wheelchair mobility (p<0.001), aerobic (p<0.001), and anaerobic performance (p<0.001). Unpaired sample t-tests underscored these effects for PA (p<0.01) and WMS (p<0.001). There were no effects on cardiorespiratory fitness. The order of training (exercise before WMS) had a significant effect on confidence in wheelchair mobility.

 

Conclusions: A combination of exercise and WMS training appears to have significant positive long-term effects on PA, WMS, confidence in wheelchair mobility, and (an)aerobic performance in youth using a manual wheelchair.

Preparing youth with disabilities in Indonesia to start their careers & making workplaces more inclusive

CAMINITI, Monica
April 2021

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The Indonesia Skills to Succeed program provides employability skills training and job linkage support to youth with disabilities so they are able to obtain work. The program also organizes working groups with employers to advocate for changes that make workplaces more inclusive of youth with disabilities. Achievements to date and lessons learnt are outlined.

Antony Were at Civil Society Policy Forum 2021

HIAIR
March 2021

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Antony Were, who works for Humanity & Inclusion in Kenya, briefly describes his experience as an inclusive teacher in refugee camps and asks panelists how can teachers be better supported to be inclusive teachers, especially during times of crisis like COVID, so that children with disabilities don’t lose out

‘Teachers Did Not Let Me Do It.’: Disabled Children’s Experiences of Marginalisation in Regular Primary Schools in China

WANG, Yuchen
2021

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The large-scale mainstreaming of disabled children in education in China was initiated with the launching of a national policy called ‘Learning in Regular Classrooms’ in the late 1980s. More than thirty years on, and little is known about disabled children’s daily experiences in regular schools due to a lack of research that foregrounds their voices. This paper reports the main findings from an ethnographic study conducted in 4 state- funded primary schools in Shanghai involving 11 children labelled as having ‘intellectual disabilities’, 10 class teachers and 3 resource teachers. Data were collected through participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and child-friendly participatory activities, and thematically analysed to identify patterns in practices and beliefs that underpin the processes of inclusion and exclusion. The research found that the child participants were facing marginalisation in many aspects of school life with rather limited participation in decision-making. The exclusionary processes were reinforced by a prevailing special educational thinking and practice, a charitable approach to the disadvantaged in a Confucian society, and an extremely competitive and performative schooling culture. The findings address the need to hear disabled children’s voices to initiate a paradigm shift in understanding and practice to counterbalance deep-rooted barriers. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research.

Impact of Covid-19 on the education of children with disabilities in Malawi: results from a survey with parents

MBUKWA-NGWIRA, Jenipher
TANEJA JOHANSSON, Shruti
SINGAL, Nidhi
March 2021

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The overall objective of this study was to examine the impact of school closures due to Covid-19 on the education of children with disabilities attending primary schools. Using phone surveys, 99 parents/carers were interviewed to gain insight into the educational experiences of their children, any barriers faced and their main concerns. All the families had at least one child with a disability in the 6-15 years age group, with approximately six families reporting two or more children with disabilities (though not in the same age range)

Combatting the costs of exclusion for children with disabilities and their families

MONT, Daniel
UNICEF
March 2021

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Compared with other children, children with disabilities are less likely to receive an education, less likely to be employed as adults, more likely to be victims of violence, less likely to start their own families and participate in community events, and more likely to live in poverty. 

The exclusion of children with disabilities affects not only them, but imposes costs on the whole community. If these children lack the opportunity to be productive, society loses out on what they could have produced.  The barriers faced by people with disabilities can also create more responsibilities for their family members, which can limit their opportunities to work or get an education.

Moreover, the impact of exclusion extends beyond the economic cost. If people with disabilities are absent from public discourse, the community cannot benefit from their ideas. If they are excluded from political participation, the government cannot truly represent the interests of all citizens. 

A growing body of research suggests that the costs of exclusion are high. Fortunately, evidence also demonstrates that there are effective ways to ameliorate these costs. A strong case can be made for the social and economic benefits of inclusion. This paper is an effort to begin making that case.

 

Background: Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of young people including those with disabilities is a major public health concern globally. However, available evidence on their use of sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS) is inconsistent.Object

KUMI-KYEREME, Akwasi
2021

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Background:Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of young people including those with disabilities is a major public health concern globally. However, available evidence on their use of sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS) is inconsistent.


Objective:This study investigated utilisation of SRHS amongst the in-school young people with disabilities (YPWDs) in Ghana using the healthcare utilisation model.


Methods: Guided by the cross-sectional study design, a questionnaire was used to obtain data from 2114 blind and deaf pupils or students in the age group 10-24 years, sampled from 15 purposively selected special schools for the deaf and the blind in Ghana.


Results: About seven out of every 10 respondents had ever utilised SRHS. The proportion was higher amongst the males (67.8%) compared with the females (62.8%). Young persons with disabilities in the coastal (OR = 0.03, 95% CI = 0.01–0.22) and middle (OR = 0.06, 95% CI = 0.01–0.44) zones were less likely to have ever utilised SRHS compared with those in the northern ecological zone. The blind pupils or students were more likely to have ever utilised SRHS than the deaf (OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.26–3.11).


Conclusions: Generally, SRHS utilisation amongst the in-school YPWDs in Ghana is high but significantly associated with some predisposing, need and enabling or disabling factors. This underscores the need for policymakers to consider in-school YPWDs as a heterogeneous group in the design and implementation of SRHS programmes. The Ghana Education Service in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service should adopt appropriate pragmatic measures and targeted interventions in the special schools to address the SRH needs of the pupils or students.

Exploring participation in family and recreational activities among children with cerebral palsy during early childhood: how does it relate to motor function and parental empowerment?

KALLESON, Runa
JAHNSEN, Reidun
ØSTENSJØ, Sigrid
2021

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Purpose: To explore participation in real-life activities during early childhood, compare children’s partici- pation based on motor function and investigate relationships between participation and parental empowerment.


Methods: Data derived from the Cerebral Palsy Follow-up Program (CPOP) in Norway and the research registry Habilitation Trajectories, Interventions, and Services for Young Children with CP (CPHAB). Fifty-six children (12–56 months, GMFCS levels I–IV, MACS levels I–V) and their families were included. Frequency and enjoyment of participation were assessed by the Child Engagement in Daily Life Questionnaire and parental empowerment in family and service situations by the Family Empowerment Scale at least twice during the preschool years. Differences between groups based on motor function were explored by the Kruskal–Wallis tests. A linear mixed model was conducted to explore relationships between child partici- pation and parental empowerment.

 

Results: Similarities and differences in participation between children at different motor function levels varied between the activities explored. Fluctuations in frequency and stable enjoyment scores over time were most common. A statistically significant relationship was revealed between child participation and parental empowerment in family situations, but not in service situations.

 

Conclusions: Child participation appears as context-dependent and complexly influenced by both motor function and parental empowerment. This supports a focus on transactional processes when exploring and promoting child participation.

Sommet Mondial sur le Handicap +2 Ans: Les Progrès dans la Mise en Oeuvre des Engagements [World Summit on Disability +2 Years: Progress in the Implementation of the Commitments]

GLOBAL DISABILITY SUMMIT
March 2021

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The 2018 World Disability Summit, held in London, was intended to spark a new wave in the disability rights movement.

The 2-year GDS + report presents critical information on the progress made by national governments, multilateral agencies, donors, foundations, and private sector and civil society organizations on the nearly 1,000 commitments adopted in 2018.
 

The Role of the Family Network When Raising a Child with a Disability in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

BIZZEGO, Andrea
LIM, Mengyu
DIMITRIOU, Dagmara
ESPOSITO, Gianluca
2021

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Family plays a role in supporting child development, by facilitating caregiving and other parental practices. Low- and middle-income families typically have a complex structure with many relatives living together in the same household. The role of family and family complexity in the caregiving of children with disabilities is still unknown. In this study, we use data from N = 22,405 children with severe (N = 876) and mild or no disability (N = 21,529) from a large dataset collected in the 2005–2007 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey. In particular, we adopt PageRank, a well-known algorithm used by search engines, to quantify the importance of each child in the family network. We then analyze the level of caregiving the child received in light of the child’s importance and developmental status, using a generalized linear model. Results show a main effect of child’s importance and of the interaction of child’s importance and developmental status. Post hoc analysis reveals that higher child importance is associated with a better caregiving outcome only for children with mild or no disability.

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