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

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
English
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

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

TAJIC, Denis
BUNAR, Nihad
English
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.

Pre-Primary and Primary Inclusive Education for Tanzania (PPPIET) – Foundation phase : Desk Review presented by the Task Team February 2020

JUDGE, Emma
English
August 2020

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The Disability Inclusive Development (DID) consortium is working together on the Pre-Primary and Primary Inclusive Education in Tanzania (PPPIET) programme whose ultimate goal is to foster quality sustainable inclusive education for all children with disabilities (CWD) at scale across Tanzania in mainstream pre-primary and primary government schools.  To achieve this, it aims to support collective, coordinated systems change by establishing an agreed common model of basic inclusive pre-primary and primary education in mainstream government schools, and galvanising significant progress in spreading its systematic implementation for all CWD across Tanzania over six years.

 

This task requires the cooperation of government, civil society and DPOs to achieve real change.  No single organisation or government department can achieve inclusive education on its own.  Cooperation between all government ministries, including education, health, finance and social welfare are key to providing individual support to learners with disabilities.  Pooling the skills and resources, and exchanging learnings to achieve quality inclusive education of children can help all involved.  Working together will build collective commitment and action, not just amongst DID consortium members but also across government, donors, education actors and the private sector. 

 

The first part in this process was for the Task Team to conduct a desk review to establish an overview of the current educational context with regards to children with disabilities, including legislative, policies and practice, inclusive education strategies, disability contexts, cultural perspective, interventions, existing assessment and quality assurance processes, and opportunities and challenges. 

Discussion about inclusive education considering IDA report "What an inclusive, equitable, quality education means to us" and Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report 2020

Hosted by: INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE (IDA)
English
July 2020

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A discussion of inclusive education based on Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report: "Inclusion and education: All means all. Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report 2020", published Jun 2020 and IDA report:  "What an inclusive, equitable, quality education means to us", published Mar 2020.

Disability Inclusive Development - Kenya Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
English
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Kenya?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Kenya. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Kenya, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.

Disability Inclusive Development - Nepal Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
English
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Nepal?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Nepal. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Nepal, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.

Disability Inclusive Development - Tanzania Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
English
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Tanzania?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Tanzania. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Tanzania, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.

Disability Inclusive Development - Jordan Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
English
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Jordan?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Jordan. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Jordan, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues.

Disability Inclusive Development - Bangladesh Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
English
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Bangladesh. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Bangladesh, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues.

Disability Inclusive Development - Nigeria Situational Analysis

THOMPSON, Stephen
English
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Nigeria?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Nigeria. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Nigeria, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues.

Disability Royal Commission: WWDA’s response to education and learning issues paper

SANDS, Therese
English
April 2020

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In 2019 the Disability Royal Commission released an issues paper on education and learning. The issues paper asked 13 questions based on some of the key issues and barriers experienced by students with disability.

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) have now submitted their response to the issues paper which highlights key recommendations to improve the lives and experiences of students with disability. The recommendations stem from the following key areas:

  • Inclusive education
  • Intersectionality
  • Inequality and discrimination underpin violence
  • Restrictive practices – torture and ill-treatment
  • Exposing violence – desegregated data and intersectionality
  • Building strengths through inclusive education

The promise of equal education not kept: Specific learning disabilities – The invisible disability

GOW, Melanie A
MOSTERT, Yvonne
DREYER, Lorna
English
February 2020

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Background: This research is part of a larger project on the exploration of inequalities in South African higher education. This current study focussed on the implementation of policies to eradicate inequalities in an inclusive education system.

 

Objectives: This article aimed to establish the implementation of policy by researching the lived experiences of students with specific learning disabilities (SLDs) studying in the university.

 

Method: A qualitative, systematic review was employed as the research methodology. Original peer-reviewed qualitative studies published between 1994 and 2017 were systematically reviewed. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) was used to ensure rigorous reviews. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) was used to guide the process of critical appraisal of the selected articles which resulted in a total of 10 articles being selected for reviewing. The target population of this research comprised undergraduate students diagnosed with SLD. Semi-structured interviews were the main data collection tools used in the studies that were reviewed. Data from the selected articles were extracted and synthesised.

 

Results: The dominant themes that emerged from the review were: (1) fear of stigmatisation; (2) gaps in policy implementation; (3) experiences vary across departments; and (4) self-determination and family support as success factors.

 

Conclusion: An important aspect in the transformation of higher education institution is to ensure the closing of the disjuncture between policy and implementation in support of students with SLD.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020 

The development of education for learners with diverse learning needs in the South African context: A bio-ecological systems analysis

SMIT, Suegnet
PRESTON, Lynn D
HAY, Johnnie
English
February 2020

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Background: Prior to 1994, special education in South Africa was marginalised and fragmented; therefore, the new democratic government promoted inclusive education as a means to transform education in general and diverse education in particular. However, transformation in diverse education is seemingly moving forward at a snail’s pace – too slow to benefit all learners experiencing barriers to learning and development.

 

Objectives: This article serves a dual purpose: firstly, to apply a bio-ecological approach to highlight the historic development of diverse education and, secondly, to explore the interactive processes within the systemic levels in the South African education system, which affects the learner on the person dimension of the bio-ecological approach.

 

Method: A document analysis approach was utilised to collect information by exploring a large body of research literature, which included academic articles, reports, policies and policy reviews. Data were categorised within the systems of the bio-ecological model to determine successes and challenges at each level.

 

Results: Results from the bio-ecological systems analysis of related literature revealed not only many successes but also many challenges that inhibit change, growth and development in the South African education system, even more so for children experiencing barriers to learning.

 

Conclusion: The transformation process of change from what was to what should be, regarding diverse education, seems to be stuck at what is and not moving forward to what could be. It has not transformed significantly enough to fill the gap between reality and the envisaged aim or dream of quality education for all.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020 

Framing heuristics in inclusive education: The case of Uganda’s preservice teacher education programme

NANTONGO, Proscovia S.
English
October 2019

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Background: Recent education-related research has raised concerns about the persistent exclusion of vulnerable learners in Uganda. The Revised Primary Teacher Education Curriculum of 2013 marked an ambitious yet inconclusive attempt to advance the implementation of inclusive education but has encountered deeply entrenched sociocultural exclusionary practices among education experts.

 

Objectives: This study aimed to explicate education practitioners’ interpretations of Uganda’s flagship inclusive education programme in preservice primary teacher education.

 

Method: Drawing on the conceptual vocabulary of frame analysis and the qualitative analysis of individual and group interviews and classroom observations, the interpretations of inclusive education implementation in preservice primary teacher education in Uganda were examined. The participants included policy design experts, curriculum design experts and classroom practitioners.

 

Results: Three main findings emerged. Firstly, interpretations of inclusive education displayed a narrow framing heuristic of inclusive education as a perfunctory, daily practice rather than a pathway for reflective, inclusive pedagogical engagement. Secondly, the heuristic encouraged the treatment of inclusive pedagogy as a ‘label’ under a specific rubric referring to sensory impairments or disabilities – a historical device for sociocultural exclusion. Thirdly, inclusive education was a praxis but was misframed from its original intentions, causing tension and resentment among practitioners. These findings contribute to the debates on the sustainability of inclusive education beyond preservice teacher education.

 

Conclusion: Uganda’s flagship inclusive education programme in preservice primary teacher education was fraught with tensions, ambiguities and an overt, urgent need for change.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

State of the Education Report for India 2019: Children with disabilities

RAMCHAND, Mythili
English
et al
July 2019

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The past twenty years in India have seen significant legal and political commitments towards universalization of education and the right to education. This report documents the considerable effort undertaken in the country to protect the right to education of children with disabilities (CWD) and outlines what remains to be done to achieve its full realization. 

The report is based on extensive research of national and international literature and attempts to provide comprehensive information on the current status of education of CWDs, evidence of achievements and continuing concerns. It extensively draws upon a series of thematic research studies between 2017 and 2018. 

The report has taken a participatory approach with contributions, in the form of case studies, from specialists and those working directly in the field. 

Inclusion and standards achievement: the presence of pupils identified as having special needs as a moderating effect on the national mathematics standards achievements of their classmates

KRAMMER, Mathias
GASTEIGER-KLICPERA, Barbara
HOLZINGER, Andrea
WOHLHART, David
English
2019

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This article investigates the relationship between the achievement level of students in classes and the presence of students identified as having special needs in inclusive settings. In particular, it examines whether the presence of students with special educational needs in inclusive classrooms has an effect on the national mathematics standards achievement of their fellow students. In order to do so, the national standard scores of approximately 75,000 fourth graders in mathematics were used as dependent variable in multi-level regression modelling. As independent variables at class level the number of students with special needs and at the individual level socio-economic, cultural and ethnic background variables were used together with gender and age. Results show only a very small effect of the presence of students with special needs on the national mathematics standard scores of their classmates. The effect can be either positive or negative depending on further class conditions.

Funding and inclusion in higher education institutions for students with disabilities

CHIWANDIRE, Desiree
VINCENT, Louise
English
2019

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Background: Historically, challenges faced by students with disabilities (SWDs) in accessing higher education institutions (HEIs) were attributed to limited public funding. The introduction of progressive funding models such as disability scholarships served to widen access to, and participation in, higher education for SWDs. However, recent years have seen these advances threatened by funding cuts and privatisation in higher education.

 

Objectives: In this article, the funding mechanisms of selected developed and developing democratic countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa and India are described in order to gain an insight into how such mechanisms enhance access, equal participation, retention, success and equality of outcome for SWDs. The countries selected are often spoken about as exemplars of best practices in relation to widening access and opportunities for SWDs through government mandated funding mechanisms. Method: A critical literature review of the sample countries’ funding mechanisms governing SWDs in higher education and other relevant government documents; secondary academic literature on disability funding; online sources including University World News, University Affairs, newspaper articles, newsletters, literature from bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Disabled World and Parliamentary Monitoring Group. Data were analysed using a theoretically derived directed qualitative content analysis.

 

Results: Barriers which place SWDs at a substantial educational disadvantage compared to their non-disabled peers include bureaucratisation of application processes, cuts in disability funding, means-test requirements, minimal scholarships for supporting part-time and distance learning for SWDs and inadequate financial support to meet the day-to-day costs that arise as a result of disability.

 

Conclusion: Although the steady increase of SWDs accessing HEIs of the sampled countries have been attributed to supportive disability funding policies, notable is the fact that these students are still confronted by insurmountable disability funding-oriented barriers. Thus, we recommend the need for these HEIs to address these challenges as a matter of urgency if they are to respect the rights of SWDs as well as provide them with an enabling environment to succeed academically.

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Investigating barriers teachers face in the implementation of inclusive education in high schools in Gege branch, Swaziland

ZWANE, Sifiso L.
MALALE, Matome M.
English
2018

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Background: The kingdom of Swaziland is a signatory to policies on universal education that ensure high quality basic education for all. Education for All is a commitment to provide equal opportunities for all children and the youth as provided for in the country’s constitution of 2005. The tone for the introduction of inclusive education in Swaziland was inevitably set by the new constitution of 2005. Since then several policies have been produced by the government, all aimed at providing equal education opportunities to all children in the country. These policies include the Swaziland National Children’s Policy (2009), Poverty Reduction Strategy and Action Plan (2006) and Draft Inclusive Education Policy (2008). The Education for All Policy (2010) is the policy that upon implementation became a stimulus for the introduction of inclusive education into mainstream schools; as a result, all teachers in the country’s schools were expected to be competent enough to teach learners with a wide range of educational needs. However, in-service teachers received inadequate staff development and training ahead of the implementation of inclusive education and a majority of teachers were not professionally developed for inclusive education, as pre-service students at tertiary training level.

 

Objectives: This study investigated barriers in the implementation of inclusive education at high schools in the Gege branch, Swaziland, with a view to finding lasting solutions to inform research and government policy.

 

Method: This research is a qualitative interpretive case study based on selected schools in the Gege branch of schools. Data was obtained through semi-structured research interviews and document analysis. It was processed and analysed through data coding, unitising, categorising and emergence of themes, which became the findings of the study.

 

Results: Lack of facilities in the governments’ schools and teachers’ incompetence in identifying learners facing learning challenges in their classrooms are some barriers to inclusivity.

 

Conclusion: The study concludes that there is a need for the Ministry of Education and Training to craft an inclusive curriculum in line with the inclusive policy in order to cater for the diverse educational needs of all learners in mainstream schools. It is thought that instituting a vibrant in-service and pre-service teacher training programme by the Ministry of Education and Training will increase teachers’ capacity to a level where teaching in inclusive classrooms does not negatively affect their competence.

Support to address barriers to learning for learners who are deaf

MAPEPA, Peter
MAGANO, Meahabo D.
English
2018

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Background: There is great importance in support services for successfully addressing the barriers to learning optimally or learners who are deaf. The study, though conducted in South Africa, has national and international appeal.

 

Objectives: The aim of the study was to identify educator reflections on support services needed for them to address barriers to learning of learners who are deaf.

 

Method: The study used a qualitative design for collecting data in natural settings. A sample size of 11 educators of learners who are deaf was purposively selected from two provinces of South Africa. The study used an open ended individual interview questionnaire.

 

Results: Data was analysed using qualitative content analysis considering the context of the schools in which the study was carried out. Results showed that there was: limited curriculum support in special schools; lack of support and inadequate teaching and learning materials; overcrowding in one school and; limited support of multidisciplinary professionals in most schools.

 

Conclusion: The study provided a framework for support services important for research, policy and practice. Of significance was the relevance of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) theoretical framework in implementing support services programmes in schools.

Governmentality of disability in the context of lifelong learning in European Union policy

KAUPPILA, Aarno
KINNARI, Heikki
NIEMI, Anna-Maija
English
2018

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The possibility to participate in education and lifelong learning has been introduced in EU disability policy in recent decades as one of the key means to improve the socioeconomic position of disabled persons. Simultaneously, lifelong learning has been developed as the defining concept of EU education policy to increase social cohesion and economic competitiveness. However, the education, employment rate and socioeconomic status of disabled persons have remained far below the EU average. In this article, we theo- rize governmentality to explore (1) how EU lifelong learning and disability policy discourses constitute and govern disabled persons and (2) how disabled persons are positioned in the policy dis- courses. The data consist of the most relevant EU policy documents concerning lifelong learning and disability policy in the twenty-first century. We argue that the policies constitute and govern disabled persons as a group who do not fulfil the premises set for the lifelong learner, and that consequently, policy dis- courses marginalize disabled persons instead.

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