Andrew Lange

The fundamental idea behind inclusive education for children with disabilities is that they are educated in the same classroom with their peers and offers a variety of benefits, from improving education quality for all children, to helping change discriminatory attitudes. However, in order to put policy into practice, the practical application of inclusion mandates is needed so that schools, staff and parents receive training, support and resources needed to teach students with diverse needs and learning styles. Despite political and normative support, such as ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), low- and middle-income countries face systemic institutional and budget challenges before inclusive education can be realized for students with disabilities.

To achieve inclusive education for students with disabilities, governments need to be held accountable for implementing mandates for inclusion and policies that remove barriers and ensure a diverse student body learns together, in a supportive and inclusive environment. Education systems need to provide schools and virtual learning environments, that are inclusive with professionals trained to attend to students with different disabilities and committed to the responsibility of ensuring that all students acquire significant learning for their life and inclusion as active members of their communities. This also means implementing an appropriate educational system with a budget that is capable of reaching all students with disabilities, that provides necessary support for schools, teachers, parents and ultimately, students. While efforts towards inclusive education should be celebrated, their practical application and implementation for students with disabilities has a long way to go.