- UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 4 and 24 on Education and Universal Design)
- Salamanca Statement on Special Needs Education (1994)
- Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights), Article 2 Right to Education.
- European Social Charter (revised), Articles 15 and 17
- Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015 (Action Line 4, Education, and cross-cutting aspects)
- European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (Area of Action 5, Education and training)
all clearly state that all persons with disabilities (and their families) have the right to:
- equal opportunities and high quality appropriate education to maximize their potential, and to participate in and contribute fully to an inclusive society
- choose and receive education in an inclusive environment
- appropriate resources and expertise to meet their educational, social and health-related needs
- quality services which support them to realise self-determination and citizenship
Access to education and lifelong learning programmes in mainstream schools and other educational facilities are still far from being the reality for many pupils and learners with disabilities. This is often due to a shortage of qualified staff, a lack of appropriate accessible buildings, facilities/equipment and widespread and persistent prejudice about the skills and potential of persons with disabilities.
EASPD is however convinced that the goal of inclusive education is real and achievable. A strong leadership from member states and European institutions must provide the legislative framework to encourage local and community actors to shift their attitude and approach towards an inclusive settings. Such incentives include:
1) a shift of economic support from segregated to mainstream education providers;
2) teacher and staff training to raise awareness and understanding of the concepts and advantages of inclusive education and universal design;
3) a reform of the education system based on more flexible curricula leading to more flexible certifications adapted to the needs of each individual.
- Collaborate with networks of other vulnerable groups to present a stronger common position
- Contribute to a European policy position on inclusive learning, consistent with the obligations of the UNCRPD
- Provide information, models of good practices and support to member organisations.
- Promote positive attitudes towards inclusion, diversity, partnership and network opportunities
- Organise and promote training for teachers, educators and other training professionals on inclusive education
Our position papers
- 'Towards More Inclusive Learning Environments in Europe' (2015)
- Budapest Manifesto on Inclusive Learning (2012)
- Dublin Declaration on Inclusive Education (2009)
- Brussels Declaration on Education (2006)
- Building a School for All (Lisbon 2011)
- Building a School for All 2 (Salzburg 2013)
- Building a School for All 3 (Budapest 2014)
- Building a School for All 4 (Rome 2016)
Timothy Ghilain, Policy Officer
+32 2 233 77 23