The 2011 Report on World Disability estimated that there are 93-150 million school-aged children with disabilities around the world, most of whom will not complete primary education. Inclusive education works to provide all people, especially persons with disabilities, the same choices and freedom to pursue their education. Inclusive education is an aspect of development that cannot be overlooked. Doing so would allow inequities to flourish in the community, hindering development. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be used in inclusive education to help bridge the gap in accessibility by providing a learning environment that caters to the specific needs of the learner.
Education accelerates development. This relates to Amartya Sen’s belief that the relationship between development and freedom is reciprocal. As people are educated, they gain the freedom to pursue opportunities in society, which is a sign of development. On the other hand, development can be seen in the evolution of education. Providing inclusive education is a sign of development because it promotes equality. Everyone can learn regardless of their learning style and pace. Inclusive education allows for the whole community to step forward together, leaving no one behind due to a disability.
To pursue its overall vision for universalizing access to education for all children, youth, and adult, UNESCO partnered with G3ICT in 2014 to create a model policy document to facilitate the implementation of the UNCRPD in the field of education. The resulting Model Policy for Inclusive ICTs in Education for Persons with Disabilities promotes the effective use of ICTs in the inclusive education of learners with disabilities.
It is important to examine the lessons learned from previously established inclusive education programs. Reviewing these programs has clearly outlined the need for community support, ongoing teacher training for specific disabilities, and reliable data on students with disabilities as some of the most important aspects for building or strengthening an inclusive education program. There is also a need for feedback from the learners themselves. Few can better communicate the needs of students with a disability than the students themselves. Responding to their needs can help facilitate the inclusive learning environment they need to succeed.
Inclusive education can help reduce food insecurity rates with persons with disabilities. Education levels have a strong correlation with being food insecure, which is already a problem for many persons with disabilities. Providing inclusive education so persons with disabilities increase their education levels and gain skills needed to enter the job market, could reduce the number of persons with disabilities who are food insecure.