Kick off Workshop of Inclusive Education Advocacy Program in Beijing China

Nov. 23,2015 “Advocacy of policy change program for inclusive education” kick off workshop was held in Beijing co-sponsored by International Handicapped , Inclusion China and CIDDN.

Inc china2 Inc china3 Inc china4 Incl china5Ms.Alessandra Aresu Country representative of International Handicapped introduced the background and goals of the program. Ms. Maggie Sun program manager of IH, Ms. Zhou Peiyi, secretary general of Inclusion China and Mr. Song Song, secretary general of CIDDN respectively introduced the roles of three parties , the working mechanism and working content of the program.The experts and researchers provided advices on action plans based on scientific studies and expressed the willingness to participate the program in their agencies’ name.

The group discussion covered the topics of program frame work as well as the challenges and solutions.

The acting chairperson of Inclusion China Ms. Dai Rong also presented the certifications to the advisors of Inclusion China.

Background of the Program

General Context:

China ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2008 and adopted a new national law to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Nevertheless, visible gaps between the standards set by the CRPD and its concrete implementation still persist. The CRPD’s guiding principles promote gender equality in relation to rights and access to services, including access to education, for people with disabilities. More specifically on inclusive education, Article 24 of the CRPD stresses the need for governments to ensure equal access to an “inclusive education systems at all levels” and provide reasonable accommodation and individual support services to people with disabilities to facilitate their education.

Existing Issues:

– In China, the belief that special schools are the most viable option for children with disabilities is still widespread.

– The lack of commitment, procedures, and capacity to invest in Inclusive Education (IE) is particularly evident in the case of children with intellectual disabilities.

– Girls often are victims of multiple discriminations and abuses and boys and girls’ equal rights and access to services is often not ensured by the current regulations.

– The involvement of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the implementation of Article 24 is minimal as parents groups are not included in decision making regarding education, and policy makers tend to consult mainly with experts.

The goal of the project is to support education service users and providers in promoting the enforcement and monitoring the implementation of Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This will be done by increasing partners and stakeholders’ capacity to inform service users and providers, policy makers, and the general public about the education rights of persons with disabilities. Attitudes that reinforce discrimination will be challenged in order to facilitate a shift in attitudes and practices towards Inclusive Education (IE) in China.

The three parties of the program International Handicapped, Inclusion China and CIDDN will make joint effort to make contribution to realize the following goals:

-to support service users and service providers to monitor article 24 of CRPD;

-capacity building of program partners and its shareholders, empower them with ability to advocate to service providers,policy makers and general public of education rights;

-Attitude and behavior change on target group about inclusive education , to meet the standard of CRPD.

The program will last two years and support 10-15 parents groups/organizations through China. Out of these 10-15 groups, five of them will be chosen according to its potentiality and received more training and guidance in management and operation. Being companion with parent organization’s growing is one of the main goals of the program.