Comments for consideration by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (crpd) for the General Comment on the Right to Education for Persons with Disabilities Submission by unesco march 2015 Introduction

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Written Contribution to the General Discussion on the Right to Education for Persons with Disabilities
on the occasion of the 13th session of the CRPD, 15 April 2015

Comments for consideration

by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

for the General Comment on the Right to Education for Persons with Disabilities

Submission by UNESCO

March 2015


UNESCO welcomes the decision of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to elaborate a General Comment on Article 24 of the Convention, dedicated to the right to education for persons with disabilities.

UNESCO appreciates this opportunity to reaffirm the fundamental right to education for persons with disabilities and to specify the nature of the international obligations contained in Article 24 of the CRPD to protect, respect and fulfil this fundamental human right. Clarifying the obligations under this article is paramount in helping State Parties guaranteeing the full enjoyment of the right to education for persons with disabilities and achieving equal educational opportunities.

This written contribution briefly presents the international legal framework on the right to education for persons with disabilities (1), then provides an analysis of measures taken recently by a number of UNESCO’s Member States to ensure that persons with disabilities are not denied their right to education on the ground of their disability (2), and concludes by proposing a set of recommendations for consideration by the Committee (3).

It is estimated that more than one billion people around the world have some form of disability1 – with over four in five persons living in developing countries2 – and 93 million of them are children under the age of 14 living with a ‘moderate or severe disability’.3 Despite these rough numbers, there is a severe lack of concrete and accurate data showing the true scale of discrimination worldwide and on a national level. This is even more the case for education-related data, as there is only little information regarding persons with disabilities. Approximate figures show that the situation is worrying with about 62 million children at primary school age having a disability around the world and 186 million children with disabilities who have not completed primary school education.4
The lack of data on people with disabilities is severely constraining the ability of the international community to monitor the situation of children, youths and adults with disabilities. There has been insufficient attention to the need to collect data on disabilities and link them to education outcomes, and even when collected, the scale of disabilities is often un-reported.5 Societies᾽ misperception of different forms and types of disability and the limited capacity of social actors to accommodate special needs often place these people on the margin. People with disabilities experience inequalities in their daily lives, and have fewer opportunities to access a quality education that takes place in a truly inclusive environment.
In order to ensure equal educational opportunities for all without discrimination or exclusion UNESCO promotes a human rights-based approach to education. UNESCO is advocating for the inclusive dimensions of the right to education, notably through the implementation of the 1960 UNESCO Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education, which provide an international legal framework for the protection of the right to education and prohibit any form of discrimination, including any distinction, exclusion, limitation or preference.
To monitor the implementation of the right to education UNESCO regularly launches periodic consultations of Member States, which are requested to submit reports highlighting the situation as well as progress and difficulties. Eight consultations have been conducted so far on the implementation of the Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education.
The Eighth Consultation of Member States, covering the period from 2006 to 2011, was conducted in 2011-2013 and its results were submitted to UNESCO’s Governing Bodies at the end of 2013. 59 Member States have participated in this consultation by submitting national reports to UNESCO and 80 per cent of them have reported on measures taken for persons with disabilities. National reports show that many States have reinforced their legal frameworks to ban discriminations on the ground of disability, and have adopted concrete measures to make their education systems more inclusive of persons with disabilities.

1. The International Legal Framework Protecting the Right to Education for Persons with Disabilities

The right to education has been internationally recognized as an overarching right: it is a human right in itself and is indispensable for the exercise of other human rights. A number of international standard-setting instruments protect the fundamental human right to education.

People with disabilities face specific challenges in the pursuit of their right to education resulting in a reduced access to mainstream education, specific provisions guarantee their right to education and encourage countries to adopt an approach that is inclusive to all, including those with disabilities.

1.1 The International Legal Framework Setting Education as a Fundamental Human Right

Everyone has the right to education according to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). This cannot be stated more clearly. It is a litmus test for the individual to assess the government’s commitments to fundamental rights.

The UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960), which has been recognized as a key pillar in the EFA process, is the first legally binding international instrument which lays down core elements of the right to education. This Convention prohibits any discrimination in the field of education and expresses the principle of equality of educational opportunities.

Article 1(a) of the Convention specifies that depriving any person or group of people of access to education of any type or at any level counts as an act of discrimination. The definition of “discrimination” in the article does not explicitly mention discrimination based on “disability”. However, the list is non exhaustive, and the Convention reflects the constitutional mandate of UNESCO to ensure “full and equal opportunities for education for all” and aims at guaranteeing the right to education for all, particularly for marginalized and vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities. Furthermore, Article 4 legally binds States Parties to formulate, develop and apply a national policy which, by methods appropriate to the circumstances and to national usage, will tend to promote equality of opportunity and of treatment in the matter of education. These provisions account for the expansion of the right to education for all on a national level, by engaging States Parties to make their respective education systems more inclusive, in particular, by providing access to education at all levels without discrimination especially for the most vulnerable groups.

Furthermore, UNESCO has adopted several other international standard-setting instruments, including one convention6 and seven recommendations7, which further develop various dimensions of the right to education.
Among the United Nations human rights treaties, Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) draws extensively on UNESCO’s Convention against Discrimination in Education, and like the Convention, covers the right to education comprehensively.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) enshrines the right to education as a right of the child (Articles 28-30) and specifically addresses education of children with disabilities (Article 23). Article 23 (3) specifies that State Parties shall encourage and ensure extended assistance that shall be designed to ensure that the disabled child has effective access to and receives education and training, amongst others.
Several other international standard-setting instruments cover specific dimensions of the right to education.8
The adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) is highly significant, as people with disabilities, including children, often remain victim of discrimination and/or deprived of equal opportunities. It is the only United Nations human rights instrument protecting comprehensively the rights of persons with disabilities, including the right to education. The text, setting out a code of implementation, intends to protect specifically the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. UNESCO contributed to the elaboration of its Article 24, devoted to education.
A Survey on the challenges related to the implementation of the right to education for persons with disabilities from a policy perspective was carried out by UNESCO in 2014. The outcomes, including challenges for the full implementation of Article 24, are available in the annex.

1.2 Article 24 of the UNCRP: Protecting the Right to Education for Persons with Disabilities

As mentioned above, Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities guarantees the right to education of persons with disabilities. The Convention provides that, with a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning. In paragraph 2 of Article 24, the Convention provides that “In realizing this right, States Parties shall ensure that: (a) Persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability; (b) Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live.”

In explicitly referring to inclusive education, the Convention requires States to go beyond simply mixing students from different backgrounds within general education. The Convention seeks to incorporate difference into the education system so that persons with disabilities learn the skills to participate effectively in a free society while enabling learners without disabilities to benefit from the experiences of students from diverse backgrounds. Individual differences should therefore become opportunities to enrich learning rather than problems to be fixed. In order to achieve this, the Convention requires States to employ teachers with the required skills to provide inclusive education and to ensure adequate and effective training of teachers so that they are able to teach persons from different backgrounds. The Convention also requires “reasonable accommodation” of the individual learners needs which means, amongst other things, that the school environment must be accessible – for example, through constructing ramp access rather than stairs, providing educational material in accessible formats, facilitating the learning of Braille and sign language and so on.

2. Analysis of Measures taken by a number of UNESCO’s Member States to Address Discrimination based on Disability

This analysis is based on country examples selected from national reports submitted to UNESCO within the framework of the Eighth Consultation of Member States on the implementation of the UNESCO 1960 Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education.9

The vast majority – over 80 per cent – of the reports submitted to UNESCO describes measures taken to ensure that persons with disabilities are not denied their fundamental right to education on the ground of their disability. The high number of countries presenting measures adopted in this regard witnesses the growing realization that, as this group of persons constitutes an important segment of the society, there should be a strong legal and policy framework ensuring its access at all levels of education.

Strengthening national legal frameworks

In their national reports, Member States outline, in various depths, the constitutional, legislative and administrative measures taken to ensure the right to good quality education on a non-discriminatory basis. Almost all Member States that reported have a clear constitutional or legislative framework that enshrines the right to education as well as the principle of non-discrimination. In many countries, discrimination based on, inter alia, the ground of disability is expressly prohibited by the Constitution or relevant legislation. This positive development reinforces the legal framework protecting the right to non-discrimination, by making the list of potential grounds of discrimination more precise and complete.

Besides setting a framework prohibiting potential discriminations, domestic legal frameworks can also play an important role in advancing equity. Indeed, country examples show that they often specify the conditions for establishing better opportunities for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. The possibility of adopting positive and special measures aimed at improving the conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups is clearly mentioned in several legislations. For example, Canada reported that the education acts address the provision of reasonable accommodations to meet the learning needs of students with special needs. Likewise, Luxembourg adopted a law in 2011 relating to the access of pupils with special educational needs to educational and professional qualifications. According to the law, reasonable accommodations may involve classroom teaching, work assigned to the pupil both inside and outside the classroom, in-class tests and evaluations, and final exams.

Devising policies and strategies inclusive of persons with disabilities

Various States highlighted in their reports the adoption of policies and strategies offering more educational opportunities to persons with disabilities. National reports show that countries adopted different paths for ensuring that disability is not preventing children from attending school.

Efforts for integrating students with special needs into the regular school system have been deployed in many countries, such as Bahrain, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Iraq, Morocco, Nauru, New Zealand, Poland, Serbia and Sri Lanka. These policies aim at ensuring the learning environment is inclusive of all groups and encourage the participation of persons with disabilities. For example, Iraq developed a strategic national project of educational integration for comprehensive education, which aims at improving the quality of education provided to children with special needs. This comprehensive education strategy has been reported to contribute to promoting the establishment of a community involving all children and youths regardless of nationality, age and ability and with respect for differences and non-discrimination. This project includes children with varying types of disabilities and impairments (e.g. physical disabilities, visual or hearing impairments, learning difficulties, speech and communication problems) and has been extended at the governorate and district levels.
Other countries such as Croatia, Cuba, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kuwait and Philippines report on the coexistence of common general education institutions and special institutions delivering special programmes. For example, in Ethiopia the Ministry of Education adopted its first strategy of Special Needs Education in 2006 to help ensure access and quality education for marginalized children and students with special educational needs, especially children with disabilities. Different universities and colleges have started new teacher education programs on special needs education; core curricula have been modified for children with disabilities and manuals were prepared on disability; special needs education has been mainstreamed across all teacher education and training institutions in the country. Reforms in the field of special education have also been undertaken, especially to improve admissions and mechanisms, in order to offer programs that address the learning needs of students with disabilities and foster their participation.
Whatever approach is adopted, it is interesting to note that across countries, considerable attention has been paid to reinforcing inclusive practices, notably services, advisory, support and additional staffing, including at the earliest stages of education. The importance of adopting a holistic approach has been underscored several times, as well as the need to facilitate as much as possible the transition from education to the work place by encouraging vocational training and the development of professional qualifications for persons with disabilities (notably Cuba, France, Mauritius and Romania).
Making education accessible

The majority of the countries have reported active steps towards ensuring the accessibility of education through specific material and financial support. A wide range of measures have been devised to facilitate access to and participation in the education system. As people with disabilities often encounter barriers to access infrastructures that are not physically accessible to all, many countries (notably France, Iraq, Latvia, Mauritius and Morocco) reviewed the way school buildings, facilities and their accesses are designed to remove physical obstacles that prevent people with disabilities from enjoying their right to education. Adaptations include the creation or modernisation of ramps, lifts, public facilities, sanitation, as well as the provision of appropriate academic service and special care. In Barbados, efforts have been undertaken to upgrade facilities to make them more accessible. In the first phase of Edutech Programme, one school for the Deaf and Blind has been retrofitted with an elevator, acoustic floors for dance, and relevant modern technologies such as large screens, braille printers and special audio software.

Another common strategy adopted to expand access to education for persons with disabilities is to provide (free) special textbooks and school supplies. Czech Republic adopted in 2004 a law stating that ‘disabled children, pupils or students shall be, during their education, entitled to the free use of special textbooks and special didactic and compensatory teaching aids provided by the school’.10 In Argentina, booklets entitled Literacy Support for Children in Special Education11 have been produced for visually-impaired and hearing-impaired children and all special education primary schoolchildren received free netbooks under the Equality Connect scheme. Financial measures have been widely adopted by countries to support the education of persons with disabilities and usually take the form of aids for transport and housing, special funding, student stipends, grants, and student loans. For example, under the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative, the Australian Government is providing funding to education authorities to increase support for students with disabilities by building the capacity of schools and teachers to better meet students’ individual needs. The funding may be used for a range of activities, including adapting curriculum to students’ needs; providing assistive technology to support students’ learning in the classroom and the professional development of teachers. In Armenia, additional budget is offered to schools providing inclusive education to help them establish and organize the education for children in need of special conditions for education. Another example of good practices comes from Mauritius, where a scholarship scheme encourages students with disabilities to pursue secondary and tertiary studies and a policy of reimbursement of taxi fares applies for university students with severe disabilities who cannot travel by ordinary means of transport. Increasing the availability of additional resources in regular schools has also been decided in several countries.

Temporary special measures have also been introduced to foster the enrolment of students with disabilities and redress their disadvantages. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, students with special needs are entitled the right to direct enrolment in secondary schools. Similarly, Croatia reported on more favourable conditions for students with disabilities at higher education level, including possibilities of direct admission to universities, direct accommodation in student dormitories and scholarships. In Norway, children with disabilities are entitled to priority admission to kindergartens and municipalities are responsible for ensuring and implementing this right. Regarding conditions for stipend allocation in Latvia, higher education institutions shall first grant a stipend to a candidate with disabilities in the event of equivalent academic performances between several students.

Adapting the form and substance of education

Positive developments also emerge from reports, in countries where special efforts have been made to improve the adaptability of education. As more needs to be done to design curricula that pay attention to the needs of learners with disabilities, a common strategy of the reporting countries is to offer individual education plans and special follow-up for students with disabilities. Many states such as Croatia, Estonia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mauritius and Montenegro propose the individualisation of the regular curriculum or the possibility of having customized programs. For example, Montenegro adopted a law stating that a school or special institution ‘shall adopt individual curriculum for a child with special needs, in cooperation with a parent within 30 days as of the admission of the child, and inform the Bureau for Educational Services, Vocational Education Centre and Examination Centre thereon’. These curricula are reported to be delivered on a more suitable, flexible and adapted basis with attention to learning achievements and the quality of education. Adopting a child-centred pedagogical approach and adapting teaching content, methods and organization to psychophysical abilities of students will ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind. In Serbia, the Law on Preschool Education set forth that children with developmental impairments and disabilities shall exercise their right to preschool education with additional support and individual pedagogy-education plan. Another type of accommodation cited by France, Hungary, Poland and Mauritius is the possibility of granting special arrangements for exams and assessments, allowing for exemptions, adaptation of the conditions or the format of the exam or revalidation activities, and in some cases using customised testing technology (particularly in Croatia). Various states also reported on the opportunity that is given to students with disabilities to study with the support of teacher assistants and medical specialists. In this respect, France devoted more educators for pupils with disabilities and the number of pupils supported individually by a teaching assistant more than tripled between 2005-2006 and 2010-2011.

Many improvements have been undertaken to adapt teaching and learning environments, and to make them more adaptable and relevant to the diverse needs of learners. By creating accessible, barrier-free and inclusive learning, information and communication technology (ICT) is a growing field of interest and offers unprecedented possibilities to ensure the right to inclusive education. Country reporting shows that great strides have been made in equipping schools with assistive technology and devices to support students’ learning in classroom (for example in Australia, Cook Islands, Iraq and Philippines). Several countries introduced additional modes of communication and educational techniques in schools, including for example computer technology and special software (notably Barbados, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic and Nauru) – sometimes also for exams and testing (Croatia and Hungary). In Cuba, the entire network of special-education centres has been equipped with information and communication technology to foster the use of the computer as a teaching medium and working tool. The installed capacity for all centres currently stands at 2,340 computers, with add-ons and special software, where necessary, including touch screens, smart boards, switches, a Cuban Visual Voicemail system, Braille printers (in 15 schools) and a voice synthesizer in schools for the blind. Furthermore, in Poland the project ‘Improving the effectiveness of education for students with special educational needs’ launched in 2010-2011 takes advantage of ICTs to enhance support and assistance. Thus, an information and communication platform was launched to provide information about recommended changes and was made available for all beneficiaries of the education system. Headmasters and teachers had the opportunity to download training materials and guidelines. Other alternative deliveries of education have been developed such as home teaching, catchment schools, forms of didactic work, as well as education in sign language. For example, further to a recent law France reported on several measures taken to promote sign language education. All deaf children have the right to receive French Sign Language instruction and that language can be chosen as an optional subject for exams and competitive examinations. Other countries, such as Ethiopia, Iraq, Mauritius, Philippines, Poland, Serbia and Sri Lanka mentioned the introduction of education in sign language and/or the provision of materials in Braille.
A special focus has often been placed, in the reports, on teachers and teaching methods to further adapt the teaching and learning environment. Several country reports including for example Ethiopia, Georgia, Montenegro, Philippines and Poland mention the introduction of teachers training classes or the provision of training manuals for teachers. Materials, handbooks with teaching suggestions, and innovative teaching program using modern methods have been introduced in Poland. In Philippines, training was conducted to provide special needs teachers with appropriate knowledge and skills for the education of children with hearing impairment, visual impairment, intellectual disabilities as well as children with autism spectrum disorders. In addition, several countries report that teachers specialized in Special Needs Education have been hired, as well as additional qualified teachers and assistants.
Furthermore, advisory school assistance, support and guidance have also been cited as an important element of the follow-up of the situation and learning outcomes of students with special needs (for example in the reports of Czech Republic, France, Germany, Mauritius and Morocco). In Poland, public schools are required to provide pupils with psychological and pedagogical assistance which should involve recognition of their individual psycho-physical capabilities and satisfy their individual developmental and educational needs. In Czech Republic, a recent reform of the system specified the rules for the provision of advisory services and the obligation of advisory facilities to provide comprehensive information and strengthened the role of parents in decision-making about the education of their child.
Monitoring the implementation of the right to education for persons with disabilities

The realization of the right to education depends upon its effective implementation and monitoring by national authorities, in order to determine what remaining obstacles prevent its enjoyment by all. In this perspective, many countries have established monitoring activities and mechanisms, whether at school, local or national levels. In Cook Islands, schools must have intervention plans monitoring, evaluating and reviewing students’ progress, while involving stakeholders in the development of the plans. Montenegro established a Commission for Orientation of Children with Special Needs, in charge of making proposals on orientation on the basis of assessments, conversations with parents, and pedagogic, education-rehabilitation and psychological information. In Morocco, a multi-sectorial provincial commission is in charge every year of drawing up a list of all the children with disabilities that describes the nature and severity of the disability and of guiding them towards educational institutions that are adapted to their situation. Teams of specialized doctors and educators are tasked with their educational and medical follow-up. Similarly, in Mauritius, a Special Monitoring Team working with NGOs was set up at the Ministry to follow the situation of children with special needs and facilitate their admission to schools adapted to their needs. In Australia, the Students with Disability Group was established to provide high level advice relating to curriculum, assessment and reporting for students with disabilities.

Parents and families are also more closely associated and involved. In France, a disability helpline was created. It handles files submitted by families and offers solutions in cooperation with local education authorities and school inspectorates. Many countries highlight the need for more cooperation between the different bodies and entities, as well as for further dialogue between state ministries and local authorities. A good initiative was put in place by Montenegro, which increased collegiality to prepare, implement, monitor and adjust curricula in order to reinforce the effectiveness of the measures taken. Parents may join the professional team composed of teachers, professional associates of the school or special institution. In Poland, a Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment was appointed in 2008 to implement measures to protect against discrimination, including those based on disability, in co-operation with the Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled Persons.
As data is a central element to monitor the implementation of the right to education of persons with disabilities, several countries reported on encouraging measures to collect, record and analyse data integrating disabilities. In Argentina, a resolution provided for the establishment of an information system containing school-record data on pupils with disabilities as input for policy-related decision-making. In New Zealand, the Ministry of Education continues to develop the set of indicators which track system performance across a range of key educational outcomes. The country explained that, in each of the measurement areas, information is disaggregated as far as possible to enable the progress of diverse learners, including notably students with disabilities.
Promoting the right to education of persons with disabilities

Many initiatives have been taken to support the right to education of persons with disabilities, to raise awareness and to encourage the dissemination of good practices (notably Georgia, Germany, Montenegro, Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania). A good example comes from Germany, which reported on a prize for inclusive schools awarded annually to several schools that offer equal educational opportunities to all pupils and promote diversity in education. Furthermore, in 2010 the German Commission for UNESCO founded the Expert Committee “Inclusive Education”. The committee is a network of 30 dedicated advocates promoting the implementation of inclusive education in Germany. The experts represent various stakeholders - foundations, ministries, schools, social associations, universities etc. - and act as multipliers in favour of an inclusive educational system in Germany. Philippines also carried out awareness-raising activities, notably through the advocacy program Special Education Caravan. The aim of this campaign is to ensure that education services for children with disabilities are brought in the communities where they reside and to increase participation rates. Pursuing a similar objective, Montenegro organized workshops in regular schools that address the rights of students from special classes among their peers and the United Republic of Tanzania undertook several activities to raise awareness on the principle of non-discrimination and the importance of children with disabilities attending school.

All of these national measures demonstrate that countries have deployed efforts to make their education systems more inclusive of persons with disabilities and to remove discrimination based on the ground of disability. However, to date, people with disabilities still experience far more restricted opportunities than their peers. More efforts should be pursued to promote the principle of equality of educational opportunities and to translate the right to education from an ideal into a living reality.

3. Specific Recommendations to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

UNESCO recommends that a number of elements be carefully considered by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities during the elaboration of the General Comment:

1. The right to education of persons with disabilities is fully ensured; the first critical step for countries is to sign and ratify the normative instruments, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education. All countries need to ratify and implement these Conventions. Today, the number of ratification of UNCRPD has reached 152 countries, which shows the increasing level of awareness and recognition of disabilities as a crosscutting development issue.

2. Education policies are informed by evidence based on regular and reliable collection and analysis of data on disability disaggregated by sex and location at the minimum. Facts and figures on the status of education of persons with disabilities should be widely disseminated and made accessible to all for policy-making, programme development and monitoring and evaluation of education programmes.

3. International and national development programmes prioritize inclusive education and are inclusive of persons with disabilities, as a way to build more inclusive knowledge societies; the principle of full and equal participation of persons with disabilities must be included in development plans based on the principles of human rights, gender equality and respect for cultural and linguistic diversity.

4. All persons with disabilities should be afforded the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills throughout life and be empowered through education in a sustained manner to realize their full potential. To this end, inclusive education policies, strategies and programmes should promote lifelong learning so as to remove the barriers to learning across all age groups, from children, youth to adults.

5. All learners benefit from quality education through the creation of an enabling and inclusive environment with an inclusive curriculum that addresses learners’ cognitive, emotional, social and creative development.

6. Teachers and educators receive appropriate pre- and in-service training to acquire the necessary knowledge, and develop the skills and competencies to meet the diverse needs of learners teaching inclusive of all learners regardless their abilities as well as application of inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

7. Parents and community members are fully engaged and empowered to participate in the education of their children with disabilities.

8. Educational resources, including open resources, are sufficiently available, accessible, well-designed, affordable and adapted in a way to ensure that diverse learning needs are being met.

9. Technological solutions are adapted and personalized to the nature of disabilities and the teaching processes through the involvement of relevant public and private stakeholders; capacities of education professionals, information-library IT staff and other providers of education should be built and supported in applying inclusive ICTs.

10. The education agenda in the post-2015 development framework adopts a disability-inclusive perspective, to realize equity and equality in participation and achievements of persons with disabilities in education and beyond.

1 World Health Organization and World Bank, World Report on Disability, 2011, p. xi, accessible at:

2 International Labour Organization, 2007, Geneva, p. 1, accessible at: and FAO expert Libor Stloukal, FAO Newsroom, 2006, Rome, accessible at:

3 World Health Organization and World Bank, World Report on Disability, 2011, p. 205, accessible at:

4 UNESCO, Empowering persons with disabilities through ICTs, p. 5, 2009, Paris, accessible at:

5 Facts and Figures, Disabilities and education, Global Monitoring Report, 2014, accessible at:

6 Article 2 §4 of UNESCO’s Convention on Technical and Vocational Education (1989) states that “the contracting States shall pay attention to the special needs of the handicapped and other disadvantaged groups and take appropriate measures to enable these groups to benefit from technical and vocational education”.

7 It refers to (by chronological order): the Recommendation against Discrimination in Education (1960), the Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers (1966), the Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Cooperation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1974), the Recommendation on the Development of Adult Education (1976), the Recommendation on the Recognition of Studies and Qualifications in Higher Education (1993), the Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel (1997), and the Revised Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education and Training (2001).

8 Specific dimensions of the right to education are covered notably by the Convention on the elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) (Article 10), and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (1990) (Articles 12, 30 and 45).

9 48 Member States - out of the 59 reporting Member States – have reported on specific measures taken to ensure the right to education for persons with disabilities. Full country reports are available online on the UNESCO Global Database on the Right to Education:

10 Amended Act No. 561/2004 on Pre-school, Basic, Secondary, Tertiary Professional and Other Education, Section 16, subsection 7

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