Inclusive Education Initiative Newsletter #15

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Transforming Education for Children with Disabilities
November 2021 | Issue #15

Dear Members,

Thank you! We are over 2000 members now and excited that you've joined our community of practice. Please keep sharing resources and engaging in discussions as this community wouldn't exist without you. We are so grateful for our continued collaboration in achieving the goal of ensuring all children have access to quality inclusive education.

This issue features the newly published IEI study, which presents the findings of a global survey on learners with disabilities and COVID-19 school closures, our Research Exchange Workshop Series which targeted researchers from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, knowledge resources, news, and an upcoming training for NGO and Charity staff who work or are planning to work with deaf children.
Please reach out to us if you have a blog post or anything else you would like featured on the IEI website—we are happy to feature your work on disability-inclusive education.  You can email us at or join our LinkedIn Group and post questions directly there.

With best wishes,
The Inclusive Education Initiative Team

cover of the report with three kisd going to school, one of them uses a wheelchair
The IEI recently launched “Learners with Disabilities and COVID-19 School Closures: Findings from a Global Survey Conducted by the World Bank’s Inclusive Education Initiative”, a survey which arose from a deep need to understand the experiences of learners with disabilities during the onset of COVID-19 and the accompanying school closures. The survey was disseminated in May 2020 to inform the ‘just in time’ issues paper “Pivoting to Inclusion: Leveraging Lessons from the COVID-19 Crisis for Learners with Disabilities”. The findings from this survey show various examples of the twin track approach, which involves two basic principles: 1) to ensure that mainstream education programs are designed for all learners, and 2) that at the same time, targeted support to address specific needs of children with disabilities is developed. It also focuses on the importance of the Universal Design for Learning framework in remote teaching and learning for learners with disabilities. Additionally, we have a summary brief which brings together key messages from the Issues Paper and the Survey Report in a visual format.
The IEI recently concluded the Research Exchange Workshop Series in partnership with the University of Cambridge, University of Gondar, and Kathmandu University, which brought together over 60 researchers from across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to share perspectives on the disability-inclusive education research priorities in their regions. Summary reports and visual notes can be found on our website.
In an effort to promote visibility of Southern scholarship, we announced a call for Expressions of Interest to participate in our IEI Research Exchange blog series which is being hosted on our blog platform, “Words for Inclusion”. The first researchers to be highlighted in this series are Dr. Chioma Ohajunwa with her piece titled “Local Knowledge is Key to Creating Globally Aware Policies in Disability-Inclusive Education” and Dr. Ildephonce Mkama with his piece titled "Removing Barriers to Inclusive Education for Tanzania's Deaf Learners". 
Centre of Excellence on Data for Children with Disabilities
UNICEF has recently launched the Centre of Excellence on Data for Children with Disabilities. The Centre will help fill data gaps and meet the growing need for coordination, quality oversight and technical expertise in the field. It will support a broad range of activities to build the capacity of data producers and data users, facilitate the development of new methods and tools, and support data collection, data analysis, data interpretation and use, and knowledge generation. The mission of the Centre is to enhance the ability of stakeholders to make timely and data-driven decisions affecting children with disabilities. To achieve this mission, it will engage in a wide variety of activities, drawing on the principles of partnership, innovation and inclusivity.
The Centre of Excellence on Data for Children with Disabilities is currently in its inception phase, which will last from 2021 through 2022. During this period, it is seeking to support new and innovative projects to foster utilization of data on children with disabilities. To this end, the Centre is launching several calls for proposals for projects relating to data analysis, data visualization, and capacity building which can be accessed on their website
As part of the United Nations Partnership for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) multi-country initiative, “Promoting Inclusive Education through Accessible Digital Textbooks”, UNICEF ESARO wishes to support efforts to improve schooling and learning opportunities for children with hearing disabilities by providing guidance on the use of sign languages. The document seeks to improve inclusive education for deaf learners by advancing:
  • The use and official recognition of national sign languages as the first and most accessible natural languages. Sign language supports deaf children in their linguistic, cognitive, and social-emotional development.
  • Consistent use of national sign languages in the development of accessible digital teaching and learning materials for deaf children.
Violence and bullying in educational settings: the experiences of children and young people with disabilities
UNESCO focuses in this technical brief on school violence and bullying as it concerns learners with disabilities. It aims to raise awareness of the problem and encourage action to ensure that children and young people with disabilities have access to a safe learning environment.
Center for Inclusive Child Care
Emergency Planning for Children with Disabilities
Young children with disabilities attending early care and education programs are especially vulnerable and have unique needs that may require special considerations, especially during emergencies. It is important for programs to consider the individual needs of children when planning and preparing for an emergency event.
Resources Catalogue: Teaching and Learning Resources for Professionals and Parents Working with Children with Disabilities
This resource catalogue proposes a list of teaching and learning resources that could support both education professionals and families of children with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Bank
How to teach reading in different languages effectively and consider learners with reading disabilities
The Inclusive Education Thematic Group of the Education Global Practice of the World Bank hosted BBL on October 21, 202, which shared research and observations on the implications of language of instruction and what works best to improve learning outcomes in literacy, with a special focus on learners with reading disabilities and sign language users. Event recording: here.
Deaf Child Worldwide
Introduction to Deafness
November 8-10

This training course is for those who work or are planning to work with deaf children in the Global South and want to learn more about the basics of deafness, and the impact it can have on a child’s life. The course is free, includes a short application process, and limited to NGO/charity staff .
a girl reading a book in a library
We want to hear from you!

Please share your disability-inclusive education activities, success stories, upcoming events, and other exciting resources. Please connect to our website: or send to 

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