Catalyst for Inclusive Education

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What is a Catalyst

A catalyst is an event or person(s) causing a change. Like a spark that starts a fire, a catalyst by formal definition is designed to increase the rate of a reaction. Catalyst for Inclusive Education aims to advance inclusive and quality education for all, by creating momentum globally to effectively include persons with intellectual disabilities.


The facts

Global experts agree that at least 1/3 of the nearly 60 million children who now are out of school have a disability.  The members of Inclusion International – people who have an intellectual disability, their families and friends in 115 countries – know that in most of the world, children with intellectual disabilities are the most excluded from education.  And if they do go to school, most of them are in segregated settings, away from their brothers and sisters and neighbours.


Advocating for Inclusive Education

The members of Inclusion international were the first to recognize that children with intellectual disabilities could learn.  In almost all countries our member associations began in order to provide an education to children who were not being accepted in regular schools.  As we realized that a segregated education let to a life apart from the rest of the community, and as self-advocates began to fight for their inclusion, we learned that inclusive education – being part of the same classes and schools as all children in the community – was a key to being part of the community as adults.  Since we began our struggle for inclusive education, world leaders have joined our fight for inclusion.  The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Sustainable Development Goals all call for inclusive education, recognizing that inclusion is the best option for students with disabilities, but also makes for the best education for all students.

The Challenges

While Inclusion International is encouraged by the growing support for inclusive education, we also recognize many challenges.  Many advocates for inclusive education still don’t understand how students with intellectual disabilities can be included.  Most families and educators don’t know how to transform the education systems that exist today in order to be inclusive.

Developing a Global network of support

In order to tackle these challenges, Inclusion International has launched the Catalyst for Inclusive Education (CIE).  The CIE is supporting our members in their struggle for inclusive education through a global network of support.  The CIE is designed to respond to issues and opportunities identified by our members through the provision of resource materials and technical support at a country level including training, and consultancy.  Working with partners we are determined to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities and their families and speed the pace at which quality inclusive education can be achieved.


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