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Let’s break silos now! Achieving disability-inclusive education in a post-COVID world

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
November 2020

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Children with disabilities face multiple obstacles to access and thrive in education. In low- and middle-income countries, 50% of children with disabilities are out of school.  More than 40% of countries in the regions of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean still lean towards segregated education systems. Obstacles for the education of children with disabilities exist both within and outside the education system. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated inequalities in education. In times of crisis, coordinated multi-sectoral approaches are even more important to address the complexity and interdependency of children’s care, safety, wellbeing and education. 

The extensive experience of Humanity & Inclusion and its partners across the 27 countries where they implement Inclusive education projects was crucial to develop this report and to nourish it with first-hand expertise and evidence. The Report contains arguments, testimonies, case-studies, and a list of actionable recommendations for governments in low and middle income countries, aid donors, and multilateral agencies

Postural asymmetries, pain, and ability to change position of children with cerebral palsy in sitting and supine: a cross-sectional study

CASEY, Jackie
ROSENBLAD, Andreas
RODBY-BOUSQUET, Elisabet
2020

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Purpose: To examine any associations between postural asymmetries, postural ability, and pain for chil- dren with cerebral palsy in sitting and supine positions.

 

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 2,735 children with cerebral palsy, 0-18years old, reported into the Swedish CPUP registry. Postural asymmetries, postural ability, the gross motor function classification sys- tem levels I–V, sex, age and report of pain were used to determine any relationship between these variables.

 

Results: Over half the children had postural asymmetries in sitting (n1⁄41,646; 60.2%) or supine (n1⁄41,467; 53.6%). These increased with age and as motor function decreased. Children were twice as likely to have pain if they had an asymmetric posture (OR 2.1–2.7), regardless of age, sex and motor func- tion. Children unable to maintain or change position independently were at higher risk for postural asym- metries in both supine (OR 2.6–7.8) and sitting positions (OR 1.5–4.2).

 

Conclusions: An association was found between having an asymmetric posture and ability to change position in sitting and/or lying; and with pain. The results indicate the need to assess posture and provide interventions to address asymmetric posture and pain.

Leaving no one behind in education - A focus on children with disabilities

ADEREMI-IGE, Toyin
KAPUSCINKI DEVELOPMENT LECTURES
November 2020

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This lecture by Dr. Toyin Aderemi-Ige shed light on the educational situation of children with disabilities in low and middle income countries, highlighting how the interaction of multiple discriminatory factors (like gender and disability) results in increased exclusion. The 2030 Agenda sets the commitment to “leave no one behind” and its Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls to ensure inclusive and quality education for all. However, 10 years away from the 2030 deadline, children with disabilities are still significantly excluded from education and, consequently, from life’s opportunities.

 

The event was moderated by Dr. Harlan Koff of the Luxembourg University.

The lecture was followed by a panel discussion with:

  • Catherine Léglu, Vice-rector for Academic Affairs, University of Luxembourg
  • Julia McGeown, Global Education Specialist, Handicap International
  • Graham Lang, Chief of Education at Education Cannot Wait

Ensuring the right to quality inclusive education for persons with disabilities: From commitment to action

UNESCO
November 2020

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The international symposium "Ensuring the right to quality inclusive education for persons with disabilities: From commitment to action", co-organized by UNESCO, the Leonard Cheshire, and the Ministry of Education of Portugal brought together a wide range of stakeholders across the globe to discuss progress, successes achieved and challenges to ensure full participation and access to quality learning opportunities for all learners.

The symposium aims were to:

  • review persisting, as well as new challenges, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that are hindering the fulfilment of the right to inclusive education for learners with disabilities.
  • facilitate the exchange of experiences on factors influencing successful inclusive policies and practices for learners with disabilities and strengthen dialogue and cooperation amongst stakeholders at policy and practice levels.
  • explore how the inclusion of learners with disabilities in inclusive settings can be more effectively addressed by governments with regards to the commitments of Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the CRPD General Comment 4 on article 24, and Sustainable Development 4 SDG 4, to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The programme included:

Opening session - Accelerating efforts towards inclusive education for learners with disabilities. (Video recording: English - French - Spanish)

Session 1 - From legislation to inclusive practices: Re-designing policy frameworks, funding and monitoring arrangements across sectors for inclusive education for learners with disabilities. (Video recording: English - French - Spanish)

Session 2 - Revisiting the teaching and learning process to ensure access and participation of learners with disabilities.

Session 3 - Moving towards inclusive and safe learning environments, including by addressing violence and bullying against learners with disabilities.
 

Closing session - Rebuilding a Stronger Global Disability Inclusive Education System post COVID-19. (Video recording: English - French - Spanish)

Teaching for inclusion – a review of research on the cooperation between regular teachers and special educators in the work with students in need of special support

PAULSRUD, David
NILHOLM, Claes
2020

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This article presents a review of qualitative research on interprofessional cooperation between regular teachers and special educators published from 2005 to 2019. The aim of the review was to gain knowledge about how different forms of cooperation take shape and about factors at multiple levels that facilitate or constrain cooperation as a means of achieving inclusion. In total, 25 studies were selected. The results are discussed in relation to Thomas Skrtic’s theory of bureaucracies within the school organisation in order to compare and analyse different forms of interprofessional cooperation and schools’ organisations of special educational work. Cooperative teaching, special educational consultations and mixed forms of cooperation were found to entail different benefits and challenges related to communication and the cooperating actors’ roles. Facilitating factors included personal chemistry, an equal distribution of power and responsibilities and support from the school management through provision of professional development and adequate planning time. In several studies, a flexible cooperation was argued to be hindered by curricular constraints and standardised testing. Education policy is therefore emphasised in this review as important for understanding the conditions under which school staff are responsible for inclusion.

Unheard children. Championing deaf children’s rights to family, community, education and independence in developing countries

DEAF CHILDREN WORLDWIDE
November 2020

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This report highlights the specific barriers facing deaf children and young people and demonstrates a number of smallscale approaches and initiatives that have succeeded in breaking down some of these barriers.

Topics are:

  • Language and communication. Early diagnosis and support (example from Bangladesh). Effective and affordable hearing technology. Communication choices. What is sign language? Tanzanian Sign Language – the need for more interpreters
  • Families. Early diagnosis and support. Upskilling parents and primary caregivers. Power to the parents (example from Uganda). Catalyst for change (example from India). 
  • Communities. Deaf role models (example from Bangladesh). Challenging the public and professionals. Educating the police force (example from India). Sharing knowledge across organisations
  • Education. Intensive communication. Extra help in the classroom (example from Kenya). Making secondary education accessible. Developing sign language skills. Inclusive further and higher education
  • Independence. Listening to deaf young people. Involving deaf young people in research. Support to make informed choices. Challenging perceptions in the workplace (example from Kenya)

 

 

Promoting Inclusive Education in Mongolia

SHELZIG, Karin
NEWMAN, Kirsty
November 2020

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This paper explores inclusive education for children with disabilities in Mongolia in line with the global commitment captured in SDG 4, based on data from a 2019 survey of more than 5,000 households in Ulaanbaatar, and 4 provinces.

 

ADB EAST ASIA WORKING PAPER SERIES No.28

Being a girl & disabled in West Africa : the educational situation in question Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso

Humanity & Inclusion
October 2020

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Questions de recherche

1 / Dans quelle mesure le handicap — en interrelation avec le genre — influence-t-il les parcours de scolarisation des filles handicapées?

2 / Quelles spécificités liées aux types et au degré de handicap (physique, visuel, auditif, intellectuel) peuvent être observées?

3 / Quelles sont les spécificités liées à l’âge des filles handicapées?

4 / A quels enjeux, notamment en matière de protection de l’enfance, les jeunes filles handicapées sont-elle exposées ?

5 / Quelles spécificités contextuelles émergent dans les trois pays, objet de l’étude et dans les différents terrains d’étude?

6 / Quel rôle joue la religion et les croyances populaires dans l’accentuation des discriminations à l’égard des filles handicapées?

7 / Quels éléments facilitateurs (familiaux/communautaires/institutionnels/politiques/etc.) pour l’éducation des filles handicapées pourraient être identifiés dans les différentes zones d’étude?

Être une fille et handicapée en Afrique de l’Ouest : La situation éducative en question : etude pays - Mali

Humanity & Inclusion
October 2020

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Questions de recherche

1 / Dans quelle mesure le handicap — en interrelation avec le genre — influence-t-il les parcours de scolarisation des filles handicapées?

2 / Quelles spécificités liées aux types et au degré de handicap (physique, visuel, auditif, intellectuel) peuvent être observées?

3 / Quelles sont les spécificités liées à l’âge des filles handicapées?

4 / A quels enjeux, notamment en matière de protection de l’enfance, les jeunes filles handicapées sont-elle exposées ?

5 / Quelles spécificités contextuelles émergent dans les trois pays, objet de l’étude et dans les différents terrains d’étude?

6 / Quel rôle joue la religion et les croyances populaires dans l’accentuation des discriminations à l’égard des filles handicapées?

7 / Quels éléments facilitateurs (familiaux/communautaires/institutionnels/politiques/etc.) pour l’éducation des filles handicapées pourraient être identifiés dans les différentes zones d’étude?

Être une fille et handicapée en Afrique de l’Ouest : La situation éducative en question : etude pays - Niger

Humanity & Inclusion
2020

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Questions de recherche

1 / Dans quelle mesure le handicap — en interrelation avec le genre — influence-t-il les parcours de scolarisation des filles handicapées?

2 / Quelles spécificités liées aux types et au degré de handicap (physique, visuel, auditif, intellectuel) peuvent être observées?

3 / Quelles sont les spécificités liées à l’âge des filles handicapées?

4 / A quels enjeux, notamment en matière de protection de l’enfance, les jeunes filles handicapées sont-elle exposées ?

5 / Quelles spécificités contextuelles émergent dans les trois pays, objet de l’étude et dans les différents terrains d’étude?

6 / Quel rôle joue la religion et les croyances populaires dans l’accentuation des discriminations à l’égard des filles handicapées?

7 / Quels éléments facilitateurs (familiaux/communautaires/institutionnels/politiques/etc.) pour l’éducation des filles handicapées pourraient être identifiés dans les différentes zones d’étude?

Être une fille et handicapée en Afrique de l’Ouest : La situation éducative en question : etude pays - Burkina Faso

Humanity & Inclusion
2020

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Questions de recherche

1 / Dans quelle mesure le handicap — en interrelation avec le genre — influence-t-il les parcours de scolarisation des filles handicapées?

2 / Quelles spécificités liées aux types et au degré de handicap (physique, visuel, auditif, intellectuel) peuvent être observées?

3 / Quelles sont les spécificités liées à l’âge des filles handicapées?

4 / A quels enjeux, notamment en matière de protection de l’enfance, les jeunes filles handicapées sont-elle exposées ?

5 / Quelles spécificités contextuelles émergent dans les trois pays, objet de l’étude et dans les différents terrains d’étude?

6 / Quel rôle joue la religion et les croyances populaires dans l’accentuation des discriminations à l’égard des filles handicapées?

7 / Quels éléments facilitateurs (familiaux/communautaires/institutionnels/politiques/etc.) pour l’éducation des filles handicapées pourraient être identifiés dans les différentes zones d’étude?

Disability rights during the pandemic. A global report on findings of the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor

BRENNAN, Ciara Siobhan
October 2020

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This report presents the findings from a rapid global survey of persons with disabilities and other stakeholders which took place between April and August 2020. The organisations behind the study seek to “catalyse urgent action in the weeks and months to come,” as transmission rates of COVID-19 continue to rise in many countries and persons with disabilities are again subjected to restrictions which have already had severe consequences.

The report analyses over 2,100 responses to the survey from 134 countries around the world. The vast majority of responses were from individuals with disabilities and their family members. Within the questionnaire responses respondents provided more than 3,000 written testimonies documenting the experiences of persons with disabilities and their family members during the pandemic. The qualitative and quantitative data provide in-depth, comprehensive insights into the experiences of persons with disabilities and the consequences of government actions or inactions on the rights of persons with disabilities.

The report is organised around four themes which emerged during the process of analysing responses received to the survey. These themes are:

1. Inadequate measures to protect persons with disabilities in institutions

2. Significant and fatal breakdown of community supports

3. Disproportionate impact on underrepresented groups of persons with disabilities

4. Denial of access to healthcare

 

A webinar was held to mark the launch of the report

Long-term outcomes for children with disability and severe acute malnutrition in Malawi

LELIJVELD, Natasha
GROCE, Nora
PATEL, Seema
NNENSA, Teresa
CHIMWEZI, Emmanuel
GLADSTONE, Melissa
MELLEWA, Macpherson
WELLS, Jonathon
SEAL, Andrew
KERAC, Marco
October 2020

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Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and disability are major global health issues. Although they can cause and influence each other, data on their co-existence are sparse. This study aims to describe the prevalence and patterns of disability among a cohort of children with SAM.

A longitudinal cohort study in Malawi followed SAM survivors up to 7 years postdischarge. Clinical and anthropometric profiles were compared with sibling and community controls. Disability at original admission was identified clinically; at 7-year follow-up a standardised screening tool called ‘the Washington Group Questionnaire’ was used.

 

BMJ Global Health 2020;5:e002613

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2020-002613

The Liberia Evidence Lab: A new scalable model to deliver School Eye Health

EYElliance & Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)
October 2020

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The case study highlights how school eye health programs can be successfully scaled in under-resourced and under-capacitated contexts, and ultimately supported through a sustainable financing mechanism. The case study shows how school eye health is an entry point and critical building block to comprehensive national eye health coverage. Through a pilot of the school eye health model, approximately 50,000 children received eye screenings across three counties in Liberia

The hidden impact of COVID-19 on children and families with disabilities.

ORSANDER, Martina
MENDOZA, Pamela
BURGESS, Melissa
ARLINI, Silvia Mila
October 2020

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This report is one in a series presenting findings from the Global COVID-19 Research Study on The hidden impact of COVID-19 on children. The results presented here focus on the impacts of COVID-19 on children and parents/caregivers with disabilities and their families, drawing on data from our representative sample of 17,565 parents/ caregivers and 8,069 children in our programme participants group. Topics covered include impacts of COVID-19 on household economy, health and nutrition, child education and learning, child rights, relationships between children and their parents/caregivers, psychosocial wellbeing, family separation and household violence.

The research was implemented in 46 countries in June and July 2020 and resulted in the largest and most comprehensive survey of children and families during the COVID-19 crisis to date, with 31,683 parents/ caregivers and 13,477 children aged 11–17 participating in the research. The research sampled three distinct population groups:

1. Save the Children programme participants;

2. Specific population groups of interest to Save the Children;

3. The general public.

A representative sample of Save the Children programme participants with telephone numbers or email addresses was obtained in 37 countries.

 

A GLOBAL RESEARCH SERIES

Crimes against humanity: Decades of violence and abuse in Mexican institutions for children and adults with disabilities

AHERN, Laurie
BRIZUELA, Lisbet
MILLAN, Ivonne
RODRIGUEZ, Priscila
ROSENTHAL, Eric
October 2020

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In this report, Disability Rights International (DRI) has thoroughly documented and detailed human rights violations against people with disabilities - a culmination of the 20 years of work that DRI has carried out in Mexico. DRI’s investigations cover a wide range of institutions including orphanages, psychiatric hospitals, institutions for people with disabilities and for homeless people, among others. The documentation of such a large number of institutions provides an overview of a scale of violations of the rights of persons with disabilities in Mexico  

A rapid assessment of the status of children with disabilities in Somalia

WAITHIRA MGUBUA, Jane
September 2020

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The main objective of this assessment was to explore the barriers faced by children with disabilities in the cities of Mogadishu, Galkaio, Baidoa and Kismaio in Somalia and assess how different stakeholders have sought to address these barriers. The findings of the Assessment are intended to serve as a limited baseline data to inform future programming in the area, both by the government and its local and international partners.

The Assessment used a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative research methods. The Assessment team interviewed 20 key informants, held four focus group discussions (FGDs) with 48 support persons and another four FGDs with 48 children with disabilities. The quantitative survey covered 100 support persons.

The impact of special education resources and the general and the special education teacher’s competence on pupil mathematical achievement gain in inclusive classrooms

OPITZ, Elisabeth Moser
SCHNEPEL, Susanne
KRÄHENMANN, Helena
JANDL, Sarah
FELDER, Franziska
DESSEMONTET, Rachel Sermier
2020

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Research in inclusive settings is complicated by the nested relationships between the general education teacher (GET), the special education teacher (SET) and pupils. In this study, the impact of SET resource and selected variables of teacher competence (professional mathematical knowledge SET, attitude towards inclusion GET, classroom management GET) on the mathematical achievement gain of typically developing pupils (TYP) and pupils with intellectual disability (ID) was examined. Mathematical achievement was tested at the beginning of the school year (t1) and the end (t2) in 34 inclusive classrooms (sample ID: n = 42; sample TYP n = 525). IQ and gender – and the average mathematical achievement at class level in the sample TYP – were included as control variables. For pupils with ID, hierarchical regression modelling revealed that the mathematical knowledge at t1 explained most of the variance in mathematical achievement gain. For the group TYP, the results of a multi-level analysis showed that mathematical knowledge at t1, IQ and the average mathematical achievement at class level all had a positive effect on mathematical achievement gain. The more hours a SET was present in the classroom, the more the mathematical achievement of the group TYP increased. The other teacher competence variables had no apparent impact.

Special education reforms in Ireland: changing systems, changing schools

KENNY, Neil
MCCOY, Selina
MIHUT, Georgiana
2020

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Ireland has a distinct and complex history regarding the education of persons with special educational needs (SEN) and in its approach to inclusion. Special and general education largely developed in parallel and separately. As recently as the 1990s, legal actions by parents seeking educational rights for children with severe disabilities prompted appropriate provision for these students and a shift towards inclusive schools. The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act set out important changes – although not all implemented – followed by a series of changes in resource allocation, culminating in the removal of the requirement for students to be diagnosed in order to access supports. International evidence suggests that resource allocation based on learners’ profile and SEN diagnosis have been linked to the overidentification of SEN students. Ability to pay for private assessments has also been shown to exacerbate inequality in Ireland and beyond. We examine how Ireland's policy changes are impacting on schools and students, drawing on emerging evidence. We consider concerns over the adequacy of teacher professional development, the intended and potentially unintended consequences from a process of ‘domestication’ at the school level and ultimately whether the changes are accompanied by sufficient and appropriate accountability measures.

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