Ensuring the right to quality inclusive education for persons with disabilities: From commitment to action

Addressing inclusive education is of utmost priority if we want to meet the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is even more urgent in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is considerably hampering equal opportunities for educational progress and lifelong learning. Out of all vulnerable groups, persons with disabilities are most at risk of exclusion and marginalisation within society and more specifically in educational settings.

The international symposium on Ensuring the right to quality inclusive education for persons with disabilities: From commitment to action, co-organized by UNESCO, the Leonard Cheshire, and the Ministry of Education of Portugal, is an unique opportunity to bring together a wide range of stakeholders across the globe to discuss progress, successes achieved and challenges to ensure full participation and access to quality learning opportunities for all learners.

The symposium will:

  • review persisting, as well as new challenges, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that are hindering the fulfilment of the right to inclusive education for learners with disabilities.
  • facilitate the exchange of experiences on factors influencing successful inclusive policies and practices for learners with disabilities and strengthen dialogue and cooperation amongst stakeholders at policy and practice levels.
  • explore how the inclusion of learners with disabilities in inclusive settings can be more effectively addressed by governments with regards to the commitments of Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the CRPD General Comment 4 on article 24, and Sustainable Development 4 SDG 4, to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’

The symposium is organized on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December) and is in follow up to the International Forum on inclusion and equity in education – Every learner matters (Cali, Colombia, September 2019).

Programme at a glance


25 November 2020

  • 12:00 – 13:30 (GMT+1) – Opening session – Accelerating efforts towards inclusive education for learners with disabilities.
  • 15:00 – 17:00 (GMT+1) – Session 1 – From legislation to inclusive practices: Re-designing policy frameworks, funding and monitoring arrangements across sectors for inclusive education for learners with disabilities.

26 November 2020

  • 11:30 – 13:30 (GMT+1) – Session 2 – Revisiting the teaching and learning process to ensure access and participation of learners with disabilities.
  • 15:00 – 17:00 (GMT+1) – Session 3 – Moving towards inclusive and safe learning environments, including by addressing violence and bullying against learners with disabilities.

27 November 2020

  • 12:00 – 3:30 (GMT+1) – Closing session – Rebuilding a Stronger Global Disability Inclusive Education System post COVID-19.

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