The topic Inclusive Education aims to call attention to an extremely important and socially relevant issue: WHO data shows that, there are 1 billion people in the world with a visual, hearing, physical, or intellectual disability*, which 80% live in developing countries**.
Every day, people with disabilities face discrimination, little empathy and solidarity, and insufficient public policies and laws that fail to empower them as citizens, among many other challenges. A study from WHO suggests that there are anywhere between 93 million and 150 million children living with a disability globally, and around half of these children are out of school***.
Given that ONE in SEVEN people in the WORLD lives with a disability, it’s worth reflecting on the following points:
- – How many people with disabilities did you live with as a child?
- – How many people with disabilities went to your school?
- – How many people with disabilities do you currently work with?
People with disabilities are consistently rendered invisible and excluded from participation in daily activities. In order to change this reality, we must look beyond the disabilities themselves and focus on interpersonal interactions, as well as physical environments. Indeed, the creation of inclusive spaces requires the reshaping of attitudes, communication, and architecture. Expanding access involves breaking down barriers, seeing others as unique (without reducing them to their disability or to other characteristics), developing relationships that value diversity, promoting collaboration, and strengthening inclusive support networks. We all win with this transformation!
With regard to knowledge gained at school (in addition to other locations), the Alana Institute researched the benefits of inclusive education for students with and without disabilities. Their study, carried out in partnership with ABT Associates and under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Hehir of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, provides scientific evidence that enrolling children with disabilities alongside those without disabilities positively affects all students’ emotional, social, and intellectual development. (Read the complete study here).
The challenge of reversing the legacy of exclusion of people with disabilities inspires the motivation and desire to effect lasting change in society. One important driver of change around socially-accepted stereotypes and prejudice is interaction between children with and without disabilities in learning environments that value differences. This contact creates meaningful and memorable experiences that children carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Lastly, we want to expand access to rights and social participation, in keeping with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its objective number 4 to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”:
- 4.5 By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations
- 4.a Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, nonviolent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all
Everyone must be able to fully exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms, without facing discrimination, and with equal opportunity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights endorsed this statement nearly 70 years ago, but today we’re motivated by a simpler and more personal question: What kind of world do we want to build?
For us at Videocamp, that world is more just and diverse. 🙂
Although a movie doesn’t change the world, it does change people.
People who change the world.
Let’s do it together.
* With 2011 data: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/issues.html
****Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development