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Indumathi Rao: Inclusiveness in schools in South Asia

Presentation Abstract

Regional Adviser CBR NETWORK

India has signed and ratified UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in 2006. India is an active partner in the implementation of MDG goals and SDG goals. In the year 2016 India passed a comprehensive legislation titled “Rights of persons with disabilities ACT replacing the earlier disability ACT of 1995 by making a quantum shift from charity based approach to rights based approach reflecting its commitment to UN CRPD objectives which promotes member countries to adopt a “Rights based vision and inclusion “.The above initiatives are very important for the inclusion of children with disabilities in the national development programme and protection of their dignity /safety in the community.

However, there exists a huge gap between intentions -commitments and ground level implementation –impact in improving the quality of life of children with disabilities largely depends on the quality of inclusion into the neighbourhood and communities. Demonstrating its commitment to inclusive education, India was one of the first few countries to sign Salamanca Declaration on the same. In spite of its positive initiatives to scale up universalization of primary education less than 22% of children with disabilities have access to education. This number gets even smaller in respect to children with mental retardation, Autism, cerebral palsy, deaf blindness.
There is a need to shift our focus from inclusive education to inclusiveness in education. This needs changes in the educational policies to classroom Practices.