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Education for all? This is still not a reality for most children with disabilities

HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL
2015

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This advocacy briefing paper presents key information about the inclusion of children with disabilities in the education system. It highlights key facts, gaps in the provision of an equitable education system, the benefits of inclusive education and legal policy and frameworks. It outlines practical steps can be taken by education actors at different levels and suggests ways to measure progress

 

Advocacy briefing paper

Post school transition : the experiences of students with disability

CHILDREN WITH DISABILITY AUSTRALIA (CDA)
December 2015

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The transition from school is an important period. All young people should be supported throughout this time to access options which allow them to meaningfully participate and contribute to our society as adults. Many young people with disability however have extremely poor post school transition experiences.

This report is based on the direct experience of young people with disability. The paper highlights key issues from current research, legislation and consultations with key stakeholders. It explores present and past school transition practices, barriers faced by students with disability and presents recommendations for improving outcomes and options for post school transition of students with disability

The African report on children with disabilities : promising starts and persisting challenges

THE AFRICAN CHILD POLICY FORUM (ACPF)
December 2014

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This pan-African report describes and analyses the cultural, social, physical and other societal barriers preventing children with disabilities in Africa from realising their full human potential. It also describes the opportunities, initiatives and good practices that exist, that indicate the progress, albeit insufficient, that has been made towards realising the rights for children with disabilities in Africa. Recommendations and priorities for action are presented which promote inclusive and accessible laws, policies, and programmes for children with disabilities throughout Africa. The report is based on extensive research and evidence generated by the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) and other institutions

Communiqué : breaking barriers, carving the world ahead

SYMPOSIUM ON CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES IN AFRICA
December 2014

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In this short communiqué written on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the symposium participants renew their commitment to improving the wellbeing and inclusion of children with disabilities in Africa. The symposium acknowledges the steps taken by many African governments e.g. ratification of CRPD, but highlights the shortfalls and challenges that remain, calling on governments to take certain concrete measures to protect the rights of children with disabilities

Symposium on Children with Disabilities in Africa

2-3 December 2014

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Changing attitudes to child disability in Africa

THE LANCET
December 2014

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This brief editorial published in the Lancet highlights the situation of disabled children in Africa with reference to the 2014 publication of The African Report on Children with Disabilities by The African Child Policy Forum

 

The Lancet, Vol 384, No. 9959

Strengthening participation of children and young people with disability in advocacy

SIMMONS, Dr. Catharine
ROBINSON, Dr. Sally
October 2014

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Participation by children and young people in advocacy and change-making can not only improve and foster positive change in their own lives, but also influence the lives of others. When young people’s participation is supported, meaningful and engaged, multiple benefits accrue; their perspectives and experiences bring a unique contribution and can result in rights-based empowerment, enacted citizenship and improved relationships. This has the potential to shape policy, to increase the relevance and responsiveness of organisations they use, and to influence change in their communities in positive ways

 

However, there are significant issues and a range of barriers that discourage, prevent or actively exclude children and young people with disability from participating. A culture of low expectations, social and cultural barriers, relationship and identity difficulties and practical hurdles exist for many young people. As a result, many are precluded from participation, particularly around change-making activities

 

This paper examines how meaningful participation of children and young people with disability in advocacy and change-making can be strengthened. In the paper CDA calls for the promotion of children and young people’s participation as active and valued community members

 

This paper is also available at http://www.cyda.org.au/cda-issue-papers

 

Issue Papers

Belonging and connection of school students with disability

ROBINSON, Dr. Sally
TRUSCOTT, Julia
February 2014

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All students want to feel like they belong and that they are valued in their school community. School is a centrally important place to young people — not only where they learn fundamental academic knowledge, but also where skills in making and keeping friends, relating to peers, and social justice principles are learnt and practiced. What happens when young people feel like they don’t belong?

 

This paper examines a series of key issues about belonging and connection for students with disability and demonstrates research that shows:

• Feeling a sense of belonging and connection makes a positive difference to school life

There are a number of key elements to belonging and connection — friendship, peer acceptance, capability, being valued and supportive relationships with key adults

• When belonging and connection are threatened, there are several areas in which the impact is seen. The friendships of students are limited; they are lonely; the places they can go within the school are controlled; there are tensions in negotiating support relationships; students feel and are excluded; and kid’s strengths aren’t seen by other students or adults in their school communities

• Bullying is a particularly strong threat to a felt sense of belonging and connection

 

The paper is also available at http://www.cyda.org.au/cda-issue-papers

 

Issue Papers

Inclusion in education : towards equality for students with disability

COLOGON, Kathy
2013

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All children in Australia have the right to an inclusive education. However, there are many barriers to the realisation of this right in the lived experience of children and families. Current efforts towards upholding the rights of all children are impeded by a lack of understanding of inclusive education and misappropriation of the term. Additional barriers include negative and discriminatory attitudes and practices, lack of support to facilitate inclusive education, and inadequate education and professional development for teachers and other professionals. Critical to addressing all of these barriers is recognising and disestablishing ableism in Australia.

This paper draws from recent research in addressing gaps in current understanding to provide a firm basis from which to inform research based policy development. Taking a rights-based approach, the paper focuses on developing a clear understanding of inclusive education and identifying strategies to enhance the education of all children in Australia

Take us seriously! Engaging children with disabilities in decisions affecting their lives

LANSDOWNE, Gerison
et al
June 2013

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UNICEF’s work on disability is based on a human rights approach, with a focus on equity. It has been developed within the framework of inclusive development, and actively promotes the social model of disability. A central tenet is that legislation, policies and programmes must be informed and shaped by the children they will affect. Participation is a foundational principle of a rights-based approach. These guidelines are meant to strengthen the capacity of UNICEF and partners in creating opportunities for children with disabilities to exercise their right to be heard and taken seriously.

It is important to:

  • clearly identify obstacles impeding the participation of children with disabilities;
  • examine why participation is important for children with disabilities;
  • provide practical guidance on how and where to reach out and engage children with disabilities more effectively and systematically;
  • prioritize ways to measure the effectiveness of participatory initiatives with children with disabilities. 

Parent’s participation in the social inclusion of children with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia

BECIREVIC, Majda
DOWLING, Monica
February 2012

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"This study examines the attitudes and actions of parents of children with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Croatia. Part of the former Yugoslavia, these two Southeastern European countries have undergone major economic and socio-political changes since the early 90s. Historically disabled children with disabilities suffered high levels of social and educational exclusion in these countries whereas now a public discussion of inclusion and children’s rights prevails"

Out from the shadows : sexual violence against children with disabilities

ELLERY, Francis
LANSDOWNE, Gerison
CSÁKY, Corinna
2011

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This document is an advocacy report on sexual violence against children with disabilities. It is based on evidence generated from a literature review and primary research in four African countries. Adults with disabilities who had been abused as children were interviewed, as well as carers, lawyers, judges, police, social workers, teachers and members of disabled people's organisations. The report concludes with a set of recommendations, developed in consultation with children, young people and professionals working globally on this issue

Including disabled children in psychosocial programmes in areas affected by armed conflict

VON DER ASSEN, Nina
EUWEMA, Mathijs
CORNIELJE, Huib
2010

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"Children with disabilities are more vulnerable to violence, as well as more likely to experience psychosocial problems in situations of armed conflict than children with no disabilities. All children who live in conflict affected areas have the same rights to psychosocial support, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in the case of disabled children, additionally the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, children with disabilities are often overlooked in psychosocial programmes. In this article, the authors examine the reasons behind this observed exclusion and suggest ways to increase the participation of children with disabilities"
Intervention, Vol 8, No 1

A custom distorted : beliefs about sexual abuse involving teenagers with intellectual disability at a rural setting in South Africa

PHASHA, N
MYAKA, Lucy
2009

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This paper is based upon the findings of a study that took place in a rural setting in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It describes the social problem of sexual abuse of teenagers with intellectual disabilities by analyzing the roots of common misconceptions of intellectual disability, which render these teenagers vulnerable to sexual abuse. This paper is useful for anyone interested in learning more about disability and misconceptions of disability in Africa

Promoting the rights of children with disabilities

UNICEF INNOCENTI RESEARCH CENTRE
October 2007

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This report provides a global perspective on the situation of over 200 million children living with disabilities. It focuses upon two conventions, the Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD), presenting relevant facts and figures based upon reports from countries across regions, from a wide range of sources. Related issues about disability and inclusion, children's rights and the importance of a supportive environment for children with disabilities are discussed in detail. This report would be useful for people interested the rights of children with disabilities

Education's missing millions : including disabled children in education through EFA FTI processes and national sector plans [main report of study findings]

BINES, Hazel
September 2007

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This study aims to identify and tackle the barriers to inclusive education for disabled children. Specifically, it on the role of the Fast Track Initiative (FTI) Partnership in eliminating many of these barriers. To do so, this comprehensive work reviews the FTI guidelines and programme implementation in the education sectors of 28 countries. It concludes by exposing the gaps and providing recommendations

Speaking out : a guide for advocates for children and young people with learning disabilities

NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO CHILDREN (NSPCC)
VOICE UK
2005

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Speaking out is a guide aimed at advocates for children and young people with learning disabilities. It explains what makes a good advocate and what doesn’t, and refers to important issues such as respect, independence, information sharing and promoting the rights of children and young persons with disabilities. Although primarily aimed at disability rights advocates in the UK, this guide can be useful to anyone working with children and young people with learning disabilities

A world fit for all children : including the rights of children with disabilities in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.|National plans of action : guidelines for inclusion

INCLUSION INTERNATIONAL
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR COMMUNITY LIVING
March 2003

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Many governments are in the process of developing National Plans of Action to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This document is intended to present suggested guidelines for how to include the rights of disabled children into action plans in a way that promotes and protects inclusion

What works? Promoting the rights of disabled children : guidelines for action

LANSDOWN, Gerison
2003

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The human rights of disabled children are violated in many ways. These guidelines lay out how they are excluded, abused and neglected. The first part of the publication looks at the stories of disabled children themselves. The second part explains how an effective framework can be developed, how the role of civil society can be strengthened and how the needs of children can be met. The guidelines are useful for disabled peoples' organisations, advocacy organisations and disability non-governmental organisations

Disabled children in South Africa : progress in implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child 2002

LANSDOWN, Gerison
2002

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Despite the explicit inclusion of disability as a ground for protection against discrimination in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the reality of disabled children remains largely unchanged in most countries of the world. South Africa, which has introduced a framework of progressive legislation and strategies, provides an interesting model from which to assess progress and possibilities for change. This is an interesting resource for policy makers, planners and CBR managers

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