Disability-specific education

In many countries, disability specific education for children and youth with disabilities continues to be provided in disability specific education facilities or settings. The disability specific education facilities and approaches continue to play a valuable role in many countries. However as governments progressively move toward the implementation of national and international commitments for the realisation of Education for All, evidence suggests this cannot be achieved by specialist education facilities alone.

Resources below provide a specific focus on the role of disability specific education, analysis of quality systems, resources, and guidance on the strengths and challenges of disability specific education and the collaboration between different approaches to ensure the realisation of the right to education for all children.

See also: Accessible infrastructure and communications, Assistive devices, Health, Early intervention, Early childhood development, Children and Youth with Disabilities, Child protection, Supporting participation at an individual level.

Human Rights Watch, Kenya National Association of the Deaf and World Federation of the Deaf (2013) Offer Deaf Children Education in Sign Language (video)

This video discusses why it is important that Deaf children have a right to a quality education in sign language, which means that they learn in a language and environment that maximizes their potential. Teachers and deaf students from pre-school to college in Kenya are interviewed about their teaching and learning experiences. Deaf students share their future career aspirations. A useful primer to understand the importance of sign language, early intervention language training and to allow stakeholders to view a well functioning Deaf school in a less resourced setting.

The University of the South Pacific (2009) Inclusive education in the Pacific

Chapter four in this book outlines the role that special education can play in the collaboration toward the realisation of inclusive education, and the relevance of this to the South Pacific context.

World Health Organization (2002) WHO Community Based Rehabilitation guidelines: Education component

The chapter on Education in the WHO Community Based Rehabilitation guidelines outlines the role of CBR in identifying children with disabilities in communities, strategies for early intervention and assessment of key barriers to inclusion in education programs. It addresses early childhood care and education, primary, secondary and higher education, non-formal education and lifelong learning. This resource addresses the important role of disability specific interventions to enable access to education for children with disabilities. Whilst aiming for a national inclusive education system is the longer term optimal approach to ensure education for all children, there are many number of disability specific interventions required to enable teachers to adapt and adjust teaching methods and strategies.

International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) and World Blind Union ( Joint education policy statement

This joint policy paper outlines key recommendations to ensure the specific requirements to ensure access to education for persons with vision impairments. It urges governments to ensure adequate access by both students and their teachers to the equipment, educational materials and support services required to enable access to education. The policy also highlights the importance of teachers receiving adequate training and skills in Braille and other educational and adaptive teaching strategies to provide quality education. Note that this policy statement predates the UNCRPD.

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Picture of a girl from Brazil standing in front of a blackboard using sign language.

Photo: Foto Backofen Mhm, 2006

Mariana* uses sign language to express her views in the classroom at the School for Deaf and Hearing Disabled Children, Sao Paulo, Brazil. (*Pseudonym used) Copyright: CBM/Foto Backofen Mhm