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

UNESCO
English
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)

Bridge CRPD-SDGs global training on Article 11

FLEURY, Tchaurea
UJAH, Sulayman AbdulMumuni
English
October 2020

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The IDA-IDDC Bridge CRPD-SDGs Global Training on Article 11 was the first-ever global training initiative on Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to bring together Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs) and humanitarian representatives. An outline of the eight day event is given and lessons learnt are reported.

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in the COVID-19 response: Applying the IASC Guidelines

Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP)
English
September 2020

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On 17 September 2020, during a webinar organized jointly by ICVA, PHAP, IASC, and the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, we discussed how the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action can be implemented in the COVID-19 response. We started with a presentation of the recent note produced by the Reference Group and endorsed by the IASC on this topic, followed by a discussion of challenges in the current response and ways to overcome them.

The webinar shared practical examples of how response to COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts has been made more inclusive of persons with disabilities, drawing on learning from the past 6+ months to present concrete actions that humanitarian actors can take, in partnership with local organizations of persons with disabilities. The webinar aimed to provide a space for learning and exchange of experience between organizations of persons with disabilities, NGOs, UN entities, and other humanitarian actors.

The social and human rights models of disability: towards a complementarity thesis

LAWSON, Anna
BECKETT, Angharad E
English
2020

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This article aims to reorient thinking about the relationship between the long-standing social model of disability and the rapidly emerging human rights model. In particular, it contests the influential view that the latter develops and improves upon the former (the improvement thesis) and argues instead that the two models are complementary (the complementarity thesis). The article begins with a discursive analysis of relevant documents to investigate how each of the two models has been used in the crafting and monitoring of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This highlights the increasing importance of the human rights model in this policy context. It also provides examples of the operation of the two models which inform the remainder of the discussion. We then critique the comparisons between the models which underpin the improvement thesis; and, drawing on Foucault’s technologies of power and Beckett and Campbell’s ‘oppositional device’ methodology, deepen and develop this comparative analysis. The result, we argue, is that the two models have different subjects and different functions. In the human rights context, their roles are complementary and supportive.

Fragmented yet together: the disability movement in Sierra Leone

VAN DEN BRINK, Amélie
ELBERS, Willem
IBRAHIM, Aisha Fofana
English
2020

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The on-going struggles of disability movements worldwide have been examined from multiple perspectives. As of yet, however, research into this topic has largely overlooked experiences on the African continent. This article seeks to address this gap by presenting a case study of the disability movement in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The study finds that on the one hand the Sierra Leonean disability movement is fragmented (referring to the tendency of groups to work individually as opposed to operating in a collective manner), thus limiting synergy. Three main ‘centrifugal’ forces underlying fragmentation are identified: resource scarcity, impairment specific interests and capacity differences between impairment types. On the other hand, the movement somehow manages to survive and even achieve modest successes. The research shows that interdependence, shared experiences of marginalization, and a clear identification of the ‘other’ have a unifying effect.

  • The disability movement in Sierra Leone is fragmented, meaning it struggles to formulate a unified position and act collectively, yet somehow survives and even manages to achieve some successes;
  • The fragmentation is fueled by competition between groups, a hierarchy between impairment types and interests that are impairment specific.
  • The movement is kept together by mutual dependence to achieve key goals and raise funds, shared experiences of marginalization and negative experiences with ‘outsiders’.
  • The research offers recommendations to disability groups and donors to mitigate fragmenting forces while strengthening unifying forces.

The Social Network: How people with visual impairment use mobile phones in Kibera, Kenya

HOLLOWAY, Catherine
BARBARESCHI, Giulia
ARNOLD, Katherine
MAGOMERE, Grace
WETENDE, Wycliffe Ambeyi
NGARI, Gabriel
OLENJA, Joyce
English
May 2020

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Living in an informal settlement with a visual impairment can be very challenging resulting in social exclusion. Mobile phones have been shown to be hugely beneficial to people with sight loss in formal and high-income settings. However, little is known about whether these results hold true for people with visual impairment (VIPs) in informal settlements. Findings of a case study of mobile technology use by VIPs in Kibera, an informal settlement in Nairobi are presented. The study used contextual interviews, ethnographic observations and a co-design workshop to explore how VIPs use mobile phones in their daily lives, and how this use influences the social infrastructure of VIPs. Findings suggest that mobile technology supports and shapes the creation of social infrastructure. However, this is only made possible through the existing support networks of the VIPs, which are mediated through four types of interaction: direct, supported, dependent and restricted

 

Paper presented at CHI 2020, April 25–30, 2020, Honolulu, HI, USA

A preschool for all children? – Swedish preschool teachers’ perspective on inclusion

HAU, Hanna Ginner
SELENIUS, Heidi
ÅKESSON, Eva Björck
English
2020

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Building on the Salamanca Statement from 1994, the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals 2030 embraces inclusion for children in early childhood education. The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education in 2015–2017 completed a project on inclusive early childhood education, focusing on structures, processes, and outcomes that ensure a systemic approach to high-quality Inclusive Early Childhood Education (IECE). An ecosystem model of IECE was developed with a self-reflection tool for improving inclusion. This study’s aim was to investigate practitioners’ perspective on the inclusive processes and supportive structures defined in the ecosystem model, to contribute to a deeper understanding of how inclusive practice might be enabled and how barriers for inclusion can be removed. The self-reflection tool was administered in a heterogeneous municipality in Sweden, where inclusive settings are standard. Documentation from approximately 70 teachers on 27 teams was received. The documentation was analysed with qualitative content analysis based on the ecosystem model. The results showed a strong emphasis on group-related processes, whereas data on individual-related processes were scarce. This one-sided focus on the group level might endanger the inclusive processes and outcomes concerning the individual child.

The effect of school leadership on implementing inclusive education: how transformational and instructional leadership practices affect individualised education planning

LAMBRECHT, Jennifer
LENKEIT, Jenny
HARTMANN, Anne
EHLERT, Antje
KNIGGE, Michel
SPÖRER, Nadine
English
2020

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Fostering equity by offering the best education possible to all students is one of the main goals of inclusive schooling. One instrument to implement individualised education is individualised education planning (IEP). IEP requires cooperation between special and regular teachers. From research on school leadership it is known that leadership styles are connected to the way, school leaders use their scope of action with respect to fostering collaboration. However, little is known about the relationship between the leadership of a school, the provision of structures for collaboration, and the implementation of IEP in an inclusive context. The article focuses on the question to what extent transformational (TL) and instructional leadership (IL) are connected to the provision of structures for collaboration and how TL and IL as well as structures for collaboration relate to the implementation of IEP directly and indirectly. Based on data of N = 135 German schools, a path model was calculated. It revealed medium relations between TL, IL, and structures for collaboration as well as a medium effect from structures to collaboration on implementation of IEP. The effect from TL towards implementation of IEP was fully mediated by structures for collaboration, while the effect from IL persisted.

Participation in Practice: Examples of inclusive action for a “Participation Revolution”

English
March 2020

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Humanitarian organizations and donors have committed to change the way humanitarian action is carried out and create a “Participation Revolution.” In this webinar issues addressed included:

  • inclusion of the people and communities affected by humanitarian crises in practice;
  • how organizations are ensuring that the voices of the most vulnerable groups considering gender, age, ethnicity, language, and special needs are heard and acted upon;
  • how program activities and budgets are designed to support the changes that affected people demand


In this webinar, organized on 26 March 2020 by PHAP and the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response, we took stock of the progress to date on workstream six of the Grand Bargain and heard success stories from the field that can help agencies achieve a sustained change in how they design and deliver their programs.

 

A full transcript is available. Webinar registrants were asked to provide what they thought, in their context, was the most important factor enabling participation in practice and what they thought was the most important factor preventing participation in practice. Answers are provided in an Annex.

Persons with disabilities in humanitarian response: New guidelines for more inclusive humanitarian action

English
March 2020

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The IASC recently endorsed guidelines for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. How can these guidelines help make humanitarian action more inclusive? On 26 February 2020, ICVA and PHAP organized a webinar together with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) secretariat and the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, which introduced the guidelines and discuss how they can be implemented in practice

Required to be creative. Everyday ways for dealing with inaccessibility

WÄSTERFORS, David
English
2020

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Today’s society promises that people with disabilities can access anything, but in practice there are numerous obstacles, and the ways in which people deal with them can be easily missed or taken for granted by policy makers. This article draws on a project in which researchers ‘go along’ people with disabilities in Sweden who demonstrate and recount accessibility troubles in urban and digital settings. They display a set of mundane methods for managing inaccessibility: (a) using others, (b) making deals and establishing routines, (c) mimicking or piggybacking conventions, (d) debunking others’ accounts and performing local politics. The employment of these shared but tailored methods shows the difficulties to be accepted that people with disabilities still face, as well as the wide-ranging tension that exists between the grand rhetoric of inclusion and modest results. The tension implies that people with disabilities are required to be creative.

  • Declarations and policies often say that people with disabilities should have access to anything, but in practice this is not the case.
  • This study investigates what people with disabilities actually do when they have trouble accessing various places or resources. The results show their common and practical ways, and these ways are often taken for granted, overlapping, and combined.
  • People with disabilities ask others to support them when they face troubles to access places or resources, they make deals with important actors and they develop routines. They also observe, imitate and follow others’ actions, to pick out precisely those ways that suit their needs.
  • When people with disabilities find their ways in today’s society they also act with words. They argue against other people’s excuses or justifications for not providing access.
  • The study has found a lot of frustration among people with disabilities who get blocked, excluded or delayed. This gives them motives to engage in politics.

The Sphere standards and the Coronavirus response

SPHERE
English
2020

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Sphere reviewed emerging practices in the Coronavirus outbreak response and released a 4-page document guiding you through the relevant parts of the Sphere Handbook. The document outlines the underlying principles and the importance of community engagement, as well as a detailed review of the relevant technical guidance in the WASH and Health chapter

Universal Notions of Development and Disability: Towards Whose Imagined Vision?

RAO, Shridevi
KALYANPUR, Maya
English
2020

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This paper addresses the epistemological dissonance created by the growing movement to impose universal templates of disability and disability-related practices to countries in the Global South and the subsequent erasure of indigenous understandings of disability. Underlying this dissonance, we argue, are the deeply problematic beliefs in universal notions of disability and global development that are anchored to colonial frameworks of understanding and approaching human differences. We explore the presence of these colonial frameworks in three specific areas: the language of disability; understandings of personhood; and notions of inclusivity. We propose that bringing about transformation in these areas would mean using alternative indigenous strengthsbased frameworks of thinking and practices that uncover and value local epistemologies, understanding the complexities of local cultural, historical, and material contexts, and resisting colonial modes of thinking that label these practices as backward.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2020, Vol. 7 No. 1

Mental health for sustainable development. A topic guide for development professionals. K4D Emerging Issues Report

RYAN, Grace
IEMMI, Valentina
HANNA, Fahmy
LORYMAM, Hannah
EATON, Julian
English
January 2020

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While many development professionals recognise the need to do more for mental health, they do not always know where to begin. This topic guide is intended as a primer for development professionals interested in learning more about the basics specifically:

  • What are some of the key concepts and definitions in mental health?
  • Why has mental health emerged as a development priority in recent years?
  • What is the current situation in LMICs?
  • How does mental health intersect with other key areas of development?
  • What is the current state of the evidence, and where are the gaps?

This is not a comprehensive report or a substitute for formal training in mental health. A list of additional learning opportunities and resources is provided for further study in section 7.

85 million reasons to prioritize persons with disabilities during disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean

THE WORLD BANK
English
December 2019

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A short blog about disability in Latin America and the Caribbean, disability inclusion in disaster risk management in the region and disability inclusion in development in the region. An example of problems with infrastucture access in the Domincan Republic is given. World Bank projects in various countries in South America are mentionned.

An observation study of power practices and participation in group homes for people with intellectual disability

SVANELÖV, Eric
English
2019

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This study explored how participation constitutes and is constituted by practices of power in group homes for people with intellectual disability. The study used disciplinary power as theoretical perspective and was based on 50 h of observation in two group homes with a total of 15 residents. The analysis identifies practices of power and their relationship to individual agency and participation. The results show that institutional structures construct practices of power that define codes of conduct for the group home residents and their possibility for participation. This study offers implications for the daily lives of residents in group homes for people with intellectual disability.

Global Disability Summit: One Year On – accountability report 2019

EQUAL INTERNATIONAL
English
September 2019

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This first accountability report, one year on from the Global Disability Summit 2018, presents independent analysis of the 171 sets of commitments made by governments and organisations at the Summit. It also sets out the results of a self-reporting survey completed by Summit participants, updating on progress made against their commitments so far.

 

The wider impact of the summit is discussed.

 

The results of the first GDS18 self-reporting survey demonstrate that significant progress has been made on implementation of the 968 Summit commitments. Work is reported to be underway on 74% of the commitments and 10% are reported as already completed, contributing towards an improved and increased visibility of disability inclusion within development and humanitarian action.

 

Appendix 2 gives country level case studies: Case study developed by Users and Survivors of Psychiatry Kenya; Case Study developed by the National Federation of the Disabled Nepal (NFDN); and Case Study developed by I Am a Human, Jordan

 

Inclusion of persons with disabilities in European Union development cooperation mechanisms. A preliminary study of calls for proposals in geographic and thematic instruments

AXELSSON, Charlotte
English
September 2019

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The overall objective of this study is to assess the EU’s contribution to the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities in development cooperation programmes and projects funded by the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) and the European Development Fund (EDF) during the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.

The specific objectives of the study are:

  • To raise awareness and identify opportunities and recommendations that can support the EU and its Member States, civil society and other actors in meeting their obligations under the CRPD
  • To review key development policies and strategies of the EU and their commitments to implementing the CRPD
  • To review the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in call for proposals in regional programmes (Latin America, African/Caribbean/Pacific and Asia/South Asia) and the thematic programme of Non-State Actors and Civil Society between 2014-2018 in the DCI and the EDF
  • To get a better understanding of opportunities and challenges on mainstreaming disability at EU Delegation implementation level.

Contextualisation will be provided through meeting with implementing partners of a selected number of calls for proposals and discuss with EU Delegation staff in four countries covered by the project Bridging the Gap-II: Ecuador, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Sudan

 

Country reports for Ecuador, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Sudan are provided

Balancing care and work: a case study of recognition in a social enterprise

BLONK, L
HUIJBEN, T
BREDEWOLD, F
TONKENS, E
English
2019

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This paper discusses a case study of a Dutch work-integration social enterprise (WISE) to add to the debate on the contribution of employment to the citizenship of intellectually disabled people and those experiencing mental health conditions. In current welfare state policies, the value of labour market participation is narrowed down to regular employment, as workplace support and care provisions are seen as stigmatising and segregating. We argue that a more nuanced understanding is needed of the intersection of support arrangements with the benefits of employment. Building on ‘recognition theory’ by the German philosopher Honneth, our findings show that the work-integration social enterprise under study is successfully balancing the contrasting demands of logics of care and work, leading to experiences of ‘recognition.’ However, this balance is fragile and does not undo the misrecognition of disabled people as unable to live up to the productivity norms of a capitalist labour market.

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