Under CRPD Article 24, every child should be given the opportunity to enjoy an inclusive general education system. Many educational systems are binary – either full inclusion in a typical classroom or a completely separate special education classroom, which in turn further alienates the child. Furthermore, many of these systems focus more on academic and less on social inclusion, which is a critical component for inclusion to be successful and for the child's wellbeing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised further challenges and highlighted existing gaps, due the extent to which technologies or supports provided are accessible to a variety of students.
The panel focused on the ecosystem needed for optimal inclusion in education, highlighting various partnerships and professional infrastructures needed for optimal accessibility, as well as the tension between inclusion and developing a unique identity, which sees disability as a legitimate part of human diversity.
The panel was part of the 14th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), June 2021.
Prof. Michael Stein - Executive Director, Harvard Law School Project on Disability, USA
Yoav Kraiem - Co-Director, Community Development and Social Change Unit, Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel
Wilfried Kainz - Head of Research Zero Project, Austria
Deborah Gleason - Director, Asia and Pacific Region, Perkins International, Perkins School for the Blind, USA
Melissa Mendoza - Special Education Services Project Member, WORLD Policy Analysis Center, UCLA, USA