The right to access a quality inclusive education is encompassed in Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
General comment No. 4 of the UNCRPD refers to inclusive education as:
a) A fundamental human right of all learners. Notably,
education is the right of the individual learner, and not, in the case of children, the right of a parent or caregiver. Parental responsibilities in this regard are subordinate to the rights of the child.
b) The result of a process of continuing and pro-active
commitment to eliminate the barriers impeding the right to education, together with changes to culture, policy and practice of regular schools to accommodate and effectively include all students.
Inclusive education differs from other approaches
Inclusion is embedded in all aspects of school life and not only teaching practice, including culture, policies and every day practices.
“The central message is simple: every learner matters and matters equally.”
Inclusive education differs from exclusion, segregation or integration, as specified in General comment No. 4:
- Exclusion occurs when students are directly or indirectly prevented from or denied access to education in any form.
- Segregation occurs when the education of students with disabilities is provided in separate environments designed or used to respond to a particular or various impairments, in isolation from students without disabilities.
- Integration is a process of placing persons with disabilities in existing mainstream educational institutions, as long as the former can adjust to the standardized requirements of such institutions.
Source: Inclusive School Communities