The right to education is a universal right recognized by international human rights law and, as such, applies to all persons, including persons with disabilities. School systems have typically adopted one of three different approaches to persons with disabilities: exclusion, segregation and integration. Exclusion occurs when a student is kept away from school on the basis of the existence of an impairment, without another educational opportunity on equal terms with other students being provided. Segregation occurs when such a student is sent to a school designed to respond to a particular impairment, usually in a special-education school system. Integration is when a student with an impairment is placed in a mainstream school, so long as he can adjust to fit the standardized requirements of the school.
The inclusive education approach has emerged as a response to these discriminatory approaches. Inclusion is a process that recognizes: (a) the obligation to eliminate barriers that restrict or ban participation, and (b) the need to change culture, policy and practice of the mainstream schools to accommodate the needs of all students, including those with impairments. Inclusive education has been acknowledged as the most appropriate modality for States to guarantee universality and non-discrimination in the right to education.
In this section, you will find legal and other resources on the issue of inclusive education. The legal resources are divided into the following categories:
- International resources, which are arranged by bodies.
- Domestic resources, which are arranged by countries.