Ensuring adequate educational opportunities for disabled persons
Improving educational facilities for disabled persons
States should recognize the principle of equal primary, secondary and tertiary educational opportunities for children, youth and adults with disabilities, in integrated settings. They should ensure that the education of persons with disabilities is an integral part of the educational system. 1. General educational authorities are responsible for the education of persons with disabilities in integrated settings. Education for persons with disabilities should form an integral part of national educational planning, curriculum development and school organization. 2. Education in mainstream schools presupposes the provision of interpreter and other appropriate support services. Adequate accessibility and support services, designed to meet the needs of persons with different disabilities, should be provided. 3. Parent groups and organizations of persons with disabilities should be involved in the education process at all levels. 4. In states where education is compulsory it should be provided to girls and boys with all kinds and all levels of disabilities, including the most severe. 5. Special attention should be given in the following areas: (a) Very young children with disabilities; (b) Pre-school children with disabilities; (c) Adults with disabilities, particularly women. 6. To accommodate educational provisions for persons with disabilities in the mainstream, states should: (a) Have a clearly stated policy, understood and accepted at the school level and by the wider community; (b) Allow for curriculum flexibility, addition and adaptation; (c) Provide for quality materials, ongoing teacher training and support teachers. 7. Integrated education and community-based programmes should be seen as complementary approaches in providing cost-effective education and training for persons with disabilities. National community-based programmes should encourage communities to use and develop their resources to provide local education to persons with disabilities. 8. In situations where the general school system does not yet adequately meet the needs of all persons with disabilities, special education may be considered. It should be aimed at preparing students for education in the general school system. The quality of such education should reflect the same standards and ambitions as general education and should be closely linked to it. At a minimum, students with disabilities should be afforded the same portion of educational resources as students without disabilities. States should aim for the gradual integration of special education services with mainstream education. It is acknowledged that in some instances special education may currently be considered to be the most appropriate form of education for some students with disabilities. 9. Owing to the particular communication needs of deaf and deaf/blind persons, their education may be more suitably provided in schools for such persons or special classes and units in mainstream schools. At the initial stage, in particular, special attention needs to be focused on culturally sensitive instruction that will result in effective communication skills and maximum independence for people who are deaf or deaf/blind.
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