Disability-Inclusive Education in Asia-Pacific Working Group
Functioning under the Learning and Education 2030+ (LE2030+) Networking Group, the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok), UNICEF EAPRO, and Leonard Cheshire jointly established the Disability-Inclusive Education in Asia-Pacific Working Group (hereafter ‘Working Group’ or ‘Group’) in August 2020.
Since that time, the Working Group has aimed to realize the rights to inclusive and equitable quality education for children with disabilities across the Asia-Pacific region, expressly by providing technical and advocacy-based support that leads to the inclusion of all children, including those with disabilities, into education systems and, ideally, to ensure that all children be mainstreamed into schools. The Working Group promotes a social and human-rights-based model for education which empowers learners with disabilities to participate fully in their learning. The Working Group accomplishes this by addressing systemic barriers that are behavioral, attitudinal, cultural, societal, institutional, digital, as well as physical in nature, and it addresses how to remove those barriers for children’s full access to learning.
The Working Group further applies itself to improving coordination and participation among a wide range of actors working in the field of education for children with disabilities in Asia-Pacific, including academics, government institutions, civil society organizations, disability person’s organizations, and other regional bodies. In addition, the Group seeks to improve technical capacities of actors working towards disability-inclusive education throughout the region.
To achieve these objectives, the Working Group focuses on four core functions:
- Coordination, communication, and partnerships: connecting those involved in disability-inclusive education at national, regional, and international levels for the purpose of developing a ‘community of practice’, sharing lessons learned, identifying innovative approaches, and beyond
- Capacity development: connecting actors with experts in disability-inclusive education to promote capacity-building and further collaboration
- Knowledge management: facilitating the collection and exchange of good practices, disability-specific and disaggregated data, and resources and lessons learned on disability-inclusive education and learning, as well as supporting joint publications on disability-inclusive education and serving as a regional repository for information on activities, good practices, and resource materials on disability-inclusive education
- Advocacy: advocating for disability-inclusive education at national and regional events
Co-chaired by UNESCO, UNICEF, and Leonard Cheshire, the core members of the Working Group include major regional institutions, Ministries of Education, and Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs).
- December 2021: Making school more inclusive, accessible, and sustainable for learners with disabilities post COVID-19
- September 2021: Teacher training and curriculum: Developing teachers’ understanding of inclusive principles
- May 2021: Building disability inclusive education through data
- December 2020: Education to employment: Youth with disabilities and their needs post-COVID-19
- August 2020: A disability inclusive education response to COVID-19
- Early Intervention and Education of Children with Disabilities in the Asia-Pacific Region
- Mapping of Disability-Inclusive Education Practices in South Asia
- Education for Every Ability: A Review and Roadmap of Disability-Inclusive Education in East Asia and Pacific Region
- Global Disability Data Portal
Contact details for Working Group Secretariat: Secretariat.Diewg@leonardcheshire.org