Inclusive Education Initiative Newsletter #6





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Transforming Education for Children with Disabilities
October, 2020 | Issue #6
Dear Members,

We hope this issue of our newsletter finds you healthy and well. It’s hard to believe we are in the last couple of months of 2020. What a year it has been!

COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected us all forcing many of us to work virtually, educate children from home and on unfamiliar platforms, and prioritize the activities we engage in. It has also given us the opportunity to think creatively and envision ways of moving forward stronger, better and more inclusively.

The IEI has continued to work hard to address the educational, social needs, barriers and issues for children with disabilities during COVID-19. The issues paper, “Pivoting to Inclusion: Leveraging Lessons from the COVID-19 Crisis for Learners with Disabilities” that we published in late July has led to further conversations. We’ve shared our learnings on various platforms that have engaged stakeholders from around the world and in various sectors. We are beginning our country-level conversations in our three focus countries, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Nepal which we will share highlights from soon.

As we continue to learn from these and other conversations, we will do our best to keep you informed through this newsletter and our LinkedIn group. Likewise, if you have information you’d like to disseminate widely or engage us on, please share with us and we will be happy to work with you. You can either email us at or join our LinkedIn Group and post questions directly there.
With best wishes,
The Inclusive Education Initiative Team

A children in a wheelchair smiling
Conference of State Parties to the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 2006. The Conference of State Parties (COSP) takes place to consider matters with regard to the implementation of the present convention.

Applications for side events are being accepted through the 6th of November.
“ASSIST- Assistive Technologies” Foundation’s Annual Conference on Augmentative and Alternative Communication Technology
On the 20th through the 22nd of November, this conference will present contemporary approaches and technologies for children and adults with communication difficulties in the Bulgarian context.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3rd, is a day for championing the rights of persons with disabilities and to increase awareness of the challenges individuals face globally. The theme this year is Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”There will be many events to celebrate this important day that we will keep you aware of and we hope you will let us know about any events your organization is planning or that you come across as the day approaches.
Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN) “Investing in our Future: Nurturing Human Capital in a COVID Complex World”

On September 29, 2020, ECDAN along with ChildFund International, the Global Campaign for Education-US, Light for the World, PATH, Save the Children International and UNICEF, co-hosted a discussion on Investing in Our Future: Nurturing Human Capital in a COVID Complex World at the 2020 World Bank Civil Society Policy Forum. The session examined the impact of major disruptions in services for the nurturing care and development of ALL young children as a result of COVID-19; presented a new Cost of Inaction for Young Children tool; and identified pathways to increase investments for young children. Please find the presentation Nafisa Baboo, Director of Inclusive Education for Light for the World, gave on “Leave No Child Behind” about the importance of investing in the early years, especially for children with disabilities.
INEE’s “An inclusive response to COVID-19: Ensuring education for all”

Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed and deepened inequities, putting marginalized students further at risk. Building on previous webinars focused on inclusive education, this event highlighted guidance from 2020 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report: Inclusion and education, DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge, and the World Bank’s Inclusive Education Initiative (IEI). Panelists discussed how Education in Emergencies (EiE) practitioners can bolster equitable learning opportunities in humanitarian settings during the global health pandemic, featuring several voices from the field. Please take a look at the event recording and other resources.
The Lancet Commission Statement

The Lancet COVID-19 Commission was launched on July 9, 2020 to assist governments, civil society, and the UN institutions in responding effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet Commission issued a Statement on the occasion of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. The Lancet COVID-19 Commission will monitor the global progress in suppressing the pandemic and making an inclusive and sustainable recovery with a new set of metrics that it will regularly publish. 
The Global Reading Network: “Using Information Communication Technologies to Implement Universal Design for Learning”

The purpose of this paper is to assist Ministries of Education, their donors and partners, Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs), and the practitioner to select, pilot, and (as appropriate) scale up Information and Communication Technologies for Education (ICT4E) solutions to facilitate the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), with a particular emphasis on supporting students with disabilities to acquire literacy and numeracy skills. The paper focuses primarily on how technology can support foundational skills acquisition for students with disabilities, while also explaining when, why, and how technologies that assist students with disabilities can, in some applications, have positive impacts on all students’ basic skills development.
The Washington Group on Disability Statistics- updated website!

The Washington Group on Disability Statistics is pleased to announce an updated version of its global website. The new website provides the Washington Group tools and information, guidance and support for all interested in the collection, dissemination, analysis and evaluation of disability statistics. A major objective of the redesign was to make the site user-friendly and easily accessible
Also under the Washington Group on Disability Statistics comes a blog post by Daniel Mont “When does disability begin? Identifying the age of onset
Stress in Caregivers and Children with a Developmental Disorder Who Receive Rehabilitation

This study aimed to evaluate the stress levels of caregivers and children with developmental disorders who were receiving rehabilitation treatment. The relationships between stress levels and factors such as early rehabilitation and home rehabilitation were quantified. 
USAID publishes two reports on disability inclusive education in sub-Saharan Africa

Are We Fulfilling Our Promises? Inclusive Education in Sub-Saharan Africa discusses the state of inclusive education across Sub-Saharan Africa. While many of the broader observations apply to much of the world, there are examples that are specific to sub-Saharan Africa throughout this report. 

Tracking Inclusion: Data Sources on Inclusive Education in Sub-Saharan Africa  is a disability data mapping report that reviews available data sources regarding disability status and inclusive education across Sub-Saharan Africa. This mapping report is an effort to generate and support high-quality data that allows countries, donors, and education decision makers to assess the need for interventions, design policies, and evaluate their impact.
Nurturing Care for Early Childhood Development Country Profiles

The Early Childhood Development Country Profiles, affiliated with Countdown to 2030 women’s, children’s and adolescent health highlight that the greatest burden of risk for early childhood development is concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 60% of children in most countries are at risk of not reaching their human potential in school and in work. In many countries, disparities between rural and urban children are growing as urban children get opportunities for early development often denied to children living in rural areas.
Since the launch of the Disability Task Team under the Education Equity Research Initiative (EERI) in 2017, a significant theme of the group’s work has been on researching effective and efficient screening tools for children with disabilities. Task Team members have presented on experiences using specific tools in different contexts, conducted analysis of cross-country approaches, and consolidated a mapping of different tools available. These timely efforts coincided with a period in which donors have been requiring more data disaggregation by disability, and establishing their own guidelines for using screening tools in education projects. 

In this blog, the EERI brings together the many strands of their work to present key guidance for implementers on how disability screening can be responsibly integrated into education programming.
Emerging from COVID-19 pandemic: A social inclusion approach to educating learners with disabilities
The IEI and the Global Education Monitoring Report highlight the importance of a social inclusion approach in the education of learners with disabilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Achieving Quality Learning For All
Light for the World explores what the best way is to make sure all children get the education that is their right.
The Bedrock of inclusion: Why Investing in the education workforce is critical to the delivery of SDG4. 
This report summarises lessons and recommendations from a multi-country study undertaken on behalf of ActionAid, Education International and Light for the World. The study looked at the current state of play, and the realistic requirements for investing in an education workforce that can support disability-inclusive education systems in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Here is a youTube video that accompanies the report.
A child with a hearing impairment undergoes a low vision assessment in Cambodia
Photo by: © CBM / CC BY-NC
How to reach children with disabilities during school closures
Following the global launch of our IEI Issues Paper "Pivoting to Inclusion: Leveraging Lessons from the COVID-19 Crisis for Learners with Disabilities, we have  published some additional resources that will be helpful in understanding the barriers learners with disabilities have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Jozy is in an accessible bathroom, getting ready to sanitize her wheelchair


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