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Do both ‘get it right’? Inclusion of newly arrived migrant students in Swedish primary schools

TAJIC, Denis
BUNAR, Nihad
2020

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The aim of this article is to advance knowledge on how Swedish primary schools organise education and what strategies they deploy to ensure inclusion and attainment of newly arrived migrant students. The article is based on semi-structured interviews with 30 teachers and school administrators, and one-year of fieldwork undertaken in two multicultural urban primary schools in the Stockholm region. One of the schools initially places students in separate classes, while the other one places them directly into mainstream classes. Both are evoking inclusion and attainment as a reason for using their respective models. As such, do both ‘get it right’? Using inclusion as the theoretical and conceptual framework this article addresses the broader question: How is the meaning of inclusion constructed in the processes of its practical implementation in these two schools? The results show the ambitious tale of inclusion in both schools was, in the process of the construction of its meaning and implementation, reduced to some of its aspects. Teachers and school administrators are allowed to include or leave out of their model whatever they deem necessary, obsolete, expensive or unrealistic and still fitting under the umbrella of inclusion. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not, and both schools ‘get it right’ and ‘wrong’ in some aspects.

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.

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)

Towards more inclusive practices: A Disability, Gender and Age Intersectional Resource

BRIGDEN, Stephanie
AHLUWALIA, Kanwal
2020

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This Disability, Gender and Age Resource aims to support staff to better understand intersectionality. An intersectional approach reminds us of the need to look deeper at the way multiple individual characteristics and societal factors intersect to compound discrimination in any given context. This resouce is split into w main sections:

 

In Section A, we introduce the concept of intersectionality, its use as a lens to understand vulnerability and the relevance of ‘context’. Section A also introduces a few critical concepts: the fact that disability, gender and age are all social constructs, the centrality of power and the need to transform unequal power relations.

 

In Section B, we provide some guidance on inclusion and bias; the need to consider the wider environment; how to work with social norms; how to understand power differently; and empowerment and participation processes.

Inclusion Counts: Disability Data Tracker. A data collection and advocacy guideline for Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (Spotlight on work and employment)

ADAMS, Lisa
October 2020

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This guideline is intended to be a tool for Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) and their allies on how to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities within the global development framework known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The guideline is intended to be used as an advocacy tool for OPDs to engage with government, development agencies and other civil society actors on the implementation of the SDGs in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The thematic focus of this guideline is work and employment. The guideline will explore how the right to work and employment of persons with disabilities can be applied to the SDGs. In particular, this guideline will look at how the rights enshrined in CRPD Article 27 (Work and employment) can be addressed within SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). 

Disability inclusion in the United Nations system - Report of the Secretary General

SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
October 2020

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When launching the Strategy in June 2019, the Secretary-General stated that the United Nations would lead by example and raise its standards and performance on disability inclusion across all pillars of its work, from Headquarters to the field. The present report outlines the first steps on the path to achieving transformative and lasting change for persons with disabilities across the United Nations system

 

The report is organized into seven sections. Following the introduction, an overview of the advances made in the United Nations on disability inclusion, including the adoption of the Strategy, is provided in section II; the first year of implementation of the Strategy at the entity and country levels is reported on in section III; coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response and recovery efforts are the focus of section IV; the overarching actions for implementation of the Strategy are considered in section V; challenges and opportunities are highlighted in section VI; and the conclusion and recommendations for consideration by the General Assembly are contained in section VII. The report provides an analysis of information from 57 United Nations entities1 that reported under the Strategy ’s entity accountability framework and seven United Nations country teams that completed the accountability scorecard on disability inclusion as part of a targeted roll-out.

Making research disability-inclusive – reflections from Nigeria

MOHAMMED, Anu
September 2020

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Improvements made to inclusivity of disability research in Nigeria following participation in Inclusive Futures and training in the use of the Washington Group Short Questions are described. Applications of these lessons to recent research on COVID-19 in Nigeria is reported.

A glimpse into smartphone screen reader use among blind teenagers in rural Nepal

SANKHI, Prakash
SANDNES, Frode Eika
2020

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Purpose

Access to appropriate assistive technology is a challenge worldwide and especially in low GDP-per-capita countries. Nepal is one example of a country with several coinciding challenges: some claim having a high rate of blindness in the general population, a low-GDP-per capita and some studies claim it has a low literacy rate, especially in rural areas. Without appropriate assistive technology, some disabled youth may not get full access to education.

 

Methods

To gain insight into assistive technology use in rural Nepal, five blind teenagers in a mixed secondary school with disabled and non-disabled students in rural Nepal were interviewed about their daily smartphone use.

 

Results

The results show that all the participants used screen readers on donated smartphones. None of the participants had received formal training in using smartphone screen readers and therefore lacked knowledge about basic and essential operational aspects of the devices as well as misguided expectations about the technology.

 

Conclusions

One implication of the findings is that smartphone accessibility features training material needs to be made easily available to schools and all disabled youth worldwide, as smartphones are increasingly becoming available in low-income remote regions with low literacy rates. The built-in accessibility features of smartphones promise disabled youth a non-stigmatizing platform for social participation and access to the information society.

Disability inclusion in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries. Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report No: 51.

CORBY, Nick
CLUGSTON, Naomi
September 2020

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This briefing note provides guidance on how to incorporate disability inclusion within economic and governance reform projects. It is intended to inform the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) Good Governance Fund (GGF). This Note provides basic, introductory guidance on disability inclusion to FCDO advisers and managers engaging with economic and governance reform and sets out opportunities for the FCDO’s programmes and policy dialogue to deliver positive impacts for people with disabilities. The Note addresses three key questions: 2 1. What is the broad status of the rights of people with disabilities in GGF countries and are there any significant differences between the countries? 2. What are the recommended entry points for incorporating disability inclusion within economic and governance reform projects within the five GGF thematic areas? 3. How should the GGF incorporate disability inclusion into the next business case?

 

An annex provides short notes on several factors for each country. The factors are: the legal framework; disability prevalence; economic inclusion; social inclusion; institutionialisation; access to justice; receptions and representation in the media.

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.

Differentiation and individualisation in inclusive education: a systematic review and narrative synthesis

LINDNER, Katharina-Theresa
SCHWAB, Susanne
2020

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This study integrates research about differentiation and individualisation in inclusive education since the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006 (United Nations, 2006). The concept of inclusive education for all learners increases the requirement for teachers to create educational spaces that encourage stimulating teaching and learning processes. Accordingly, a methodological shift from the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ model to individualised teaching and learning offers a starting point for educational equity. The aim of this paper is to investigate the progress of differentiated and individualised teaching practices in inclusive classroom settings considering collaboration and teamwork, instructional practices, organisational practices and social/emotional/behavioural practices (see Finkelstein, Sharma, & Furlonger, 2019. “The Inclusive Practices of Classroom Teachers: A Scoping Review and Thematic Analysis.” International Journal of Inclusive Education, 1–28). Results of a criteria-based review considering papers from 2008 to December 2018 encompass 17 articles that were included in the narrative synthesis. Results indicated that the following aspects are characteristic of inclusive education: collaboration and co-teaching, grouping, modification (of assessment, content, extent, instruction, learning environment, material, process, product and time frame), individual motivation and feedback, and personnel support of students. Implications of the findings and gaps in the research have been outlined.

2020 Disability Equality Index Report

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES (AAPD)
Disability:IN
August 2020

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A joint initiative between the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN, the Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a benchmarking tool that provides an objective score and roadmap on disability inclusion policies and practices for businesses. The DEI is a benchmarking tool for the Fortune 1000 and America’s top 200 revenue grossing law firms (Am Law 200) to gauge their level of disability workplace inclusion against competitors. 

What began as largely U.S. efforts to create disability-inclusive workplaces is now a much larger conversation. In 2020, 75% of participating DEI companies have operations outside of the U.S.

Segregated education as a challenge to inclusive processes: a total population study of Swedish teachers’ views on education for pupils with intellectual disability

GÖRANSSON, Kerstin
BENGTSSON, Karin
HANSSON, Susanne
KLANG, Nina
LINDQVIST, Gunilla
NILHOLM, Claes
2020

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Many pupils with disabilities receive schooling in segregated contexts, such as special classes or special schools. Furthermore, the percentage of pupils educated in segregated settings has increased in many European countries. Studies suggest that there is high commitment to the general ideology of inclusive education among teachers in ‘regular’ education in many countries. This survey study investigates the views of teachers in segregated types of school about education. A questionnaire was sent out, in 2016, to all Swedish teachers (N = 2871, response rate 57.7%) working full time in special classes for pupils with intellectual disability (ID). On a general level results show that there is a strong commitment to preserving a segregated school setting for pupils with ID, a limited desire to cooperate with colleagues from ‘regular schools’ and a view that schooling and teaching are not quite compatible with the idea of inclusive education. The results highlight the importance of investigating processes of resistance within segregated schools to the development of inclusive schools and education systems. We argue that, while research and debate about inclusive education are important, both are insufficient without analyses of existing types of segregated schooling.

Disability, stigma & the role of innovation - Disability innovation live

AUSTIN, Vicki
CAREW, Matthew
MIRZOYANTS, Anastasia
BARBARESCHI, Giulia
August 2020

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This webinar focussed on the role of stigma in preventing disability inclusion, and what enables it to be overcome, focused on innovative and creative methods

The speakers talked about:

  • Culture, Paralympic legacy & how innovation can change mindsets
  • Stigma research incorporating the perspectives of persons with disabilities & disability inclusive research processes
  • Kenyan youth & the perception of people with disabilities
  • Assistive technology, identity & the role of innovation

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