Disability-Inclusive Education in Emergencies: Key concepts, approaches, and principles for practice


This report defines and clarifies key concepts and terminology for disability-inclusive education in emergencies (EiE) and provides seven guiding principles. It is meant to be used as a companion piece to the INEE Minimum Standards and to support stakeholders' efforts to be more intentional in their design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of disability-inclusive EiE interventions. Although the principles address disability inclusion in education, many also are relevant for supporting the education of other marginalized or vulnerable learners in emergencies, including girls, refugee and displaced learners, and ethnic and linguistic minorities.

The seven guiding principles, which are based on international evidence and best practices, were designed collaboratively with diverse EiE stakeholders. They should be trialed and tested, and then iteratively adapted, contextualized, and localized as needed to fit the cultures and contexts of the communities in which learners with disabilities live and learn. The seven guiding principles for disability-inclusive EiE are as follows:

  1. Encourage local ownership of inclusive education efforts by meaningfully engaging communities in education efforts, OPDs in particular.

  2. Strengthen disability data collection tools and processes to enable more informed decision-making across all phases of an emergency.

  3. Support early interventions for learners with disabilities and ensure that they have access to basic services, including assistive devices and technologies, and specialized services.

  4. Remove barriers to education access and participation for learners with disabilities, and create safe and inclusive teaching and learning environments.

  5. Provide reasonable accommodations in the curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and create accessible and inclusive teaching and learning materials (TLM).

  6. Support the wellbeing and motivation of teachers, including those with disabilities, and help them meet their learners' diverse needs.

  7. Use a rights-based approach to disability-inclusive EiE and mainstream disability-inclusion into organizational and institutional culture.

Each principle is presented along with a summary box that contains a list of bullet points to consider in conjunction with the INEE Minimum Standards. Examples from the disability-inclusive EiE approaches mapping conducted during the development of this report are also included to illustrate how the principle is operationalized in diverse EiE contexts and geographic settings, and for different target groups and learners with diverse disabilities.



Key Area
humanitarian emergencies


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