Education is possibly the most important contribution to the development of children. Education must be inclusive, not only in that it includes persons with disabilities and provides the frameworks needed to succeed, but also in that it allows for the education of all; teaching persons with and without disabilities the understanding and acceptance needed to create cultural changes that will make our society as a whole most inclusive.
Article 7 of the UNCRPD focuses on children disabilities and how children with disabilities have the right to enjoy the same freedoms as other children. An integral freedom of children with disabilities is the right to go to school and learn. Article 9, on accessibility, encourages the structural changes needed for children of all abilities to access not just the physical school but also the content learned. Article 30, on participation in recreation, includes the social and extracurricular activities offered in many schools, which should be accessible to all students. Though there are many articles from the CRPD that could be applied in a context that would increase inclusion in education, Article 24, on education itself, is the most comprehensive. This article covers everything from Braille and sign language to individualized support to maximize academic and social development.
According to a 2011 World Bank report, there are between 93 and 150 million school-aged children with disabilities globally. Inclusive education ensures that these children are not excluded from educational opportunities and that they reach the same level of education as those without disabilities. UNESCO, along with the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ICT), joined together to promote ways to implement the UNCRPD.
UNESCO worked together with G3ICT because information technology is an important way for schools to increase their inclusivity. At the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS), it was suggested that these ICTs could increase inclusion. These ICTs could have assistive technology, encourage personalized learning, have self-accommodation that could increase independence, and other important technologies. Screen readers, alternative keyboards, and alternative communication devices are just a few examples of amazing technologies that could be used to increase the accessibility of education for all. With information technology available, more people than ever will be able to access quality education and move further on the road to achieving their dreams.