A Commonwealth Guide to Implementing Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
‘In 2006, the United Nations advanced the development agenda by agreeing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). In 2007, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala, it was agreed to implement this Convention throughout the Commonwealth. Already more than half the nations of the world have ratified the Convention and 80 per cent have signed it. The task now is to ensure implementation of its provisions. Key among these is the paradigm shift from the old ‘medical/charity’ approach to a ‘rights based/social model’ approach, where the barriers in society are tackled, whether they be attitudinal, organisational or environmental, which for far too many years have prevented disabled people thriving and reaching their potential.
In this revised and expanded second edition of Implementing Inclusive Education: A Commonwealth Guide to Implementing Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a picture of the future is constructed by critically examining programmes geared towards inclusive education across the Commonwealth and beyond. Article 24 of the UNCRPD requires the development of an inclusive education system at all levels, where children and students with disabilities can be part of their local school alongside their non-disabled peers, with the right support and accommodation to develop academically and socially. It has been necessary to revise and update this publication as more countries have since signed and ratified the Convention. Inclusion of children and students with disabilities is an issue of values and morality. We should engage in restructuring our education systems to make this a reality, as everyone benefits and our societies are stronger and more democratic as a result. The recent World Health Organization World Report on Disability showed that 15 per cent of the world’s population are disabled – one billion people.’