Article 24 - Education - Article 24

Convention Text

 1.1 States Parties recognise the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realising this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and life long learning directed to:

(a) The full development of human potential and sense of dignity and self-worth, and the strengthening of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and human diversity;

(b) The development by persons with disabilities of their personality, talents and creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities, to their fullest potential;

(c) Enabling persons with disabilities to participate effectively in a free society.

1.2 In realising this right, States Parties shall ensure that:

(a) Persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability;

(b) Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live; R1

(c) Reasonable accommodation of the individual's requirements is provided; R2

(d) Persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education; R3

(e) Effective individualised support measures are provided in environments that maximise academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion. R4

1.3 States Parties shall enable persons with disabilities to learn life and social development skills to facilitate their full and equal participation in education and as members of the community. To this end, States Parties shall take appropriate measures, including: R5

(a) Facilitating the learning of Braille, alternative script, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication and orientation and mobility skills, and facilitating peer support and mentoring; R5

(b) Facilitating the learning of sign language and the promotion of the linguistic identity of the deaf community;

(c) Ensuring that the education of persons, and in particular children, who are blind, deaf or deafblind, is delivered in the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication for the individual, and in environments which maximise academic and social development. R5

1.4 In order to help ensure the realisation of this right, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to employ teachers, including teachers with disabilities, who are qualified in sign language and/or Braille, and to train professionals and staff who work at all levels of education. Such training shall incorporate disability awareness and the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, educational techniques and materials to support persons with disabilities. R6

1.5 States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access general tertiary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. To this end, States Parties shall ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities. R6

Declaration of Needs and Characteristics

2.1 Blind and partially-sighted infants and young children and their parents need the active and continuing support of qualified professional staff who are able to provide counselling, emotional support, and advise on the social, psychological, physical and educational development of infants and children with visual disabilities. These staff should also ensure that families are provided with any resources that are required because of visual and other disabilities. Early identification, diagnosis and referral to agencies that can offer this service are crucial to long term optimum academic and social development.

2.2 In all schools and teaching situations blind and partially-sighted pupils and students require all teaching materials, including text books and teachers' presentations to be provided in accessible formats of their choice.

2.3 Appropriate support from suitably qualified professional staff is required by blind and partially-sighted pupils and students to understand and work with graphical materials and concepts, participate fully in practical course work and in sporting and leisure activities.

2.4 Blind and partially-sighted pupils and students require skilled support and accommodations to participate fully in non-curricular school and college activities of their choice.

2.5 Blind and partially-sighted pupils and students need to have the opportunity to socialise and interact with other blind, partially-sighted and sighted children of a similar age, to learn from each other and share experiences.

2.6 To enable blind and partially-sighted pupils and students to overcome the communication and information deficits that arise from visual loss, they require equipment and access technology that is relevant to their studies and visual disability. This equipment may be required in the educational establishment, as well as the home or other place of study. Pupils and students will also require training and support relating to this equipment and technology.

2.7 Blind and partially-sighted pupils and students need to study in buildings that are designed, built, furnished and equipped to conform to the accessibility standards and guidelines referred to in Article 9, Accessibility. Blind and partially-sighted pupils and students also have individual accessibility needs, for example task lighting, which must be accommodated.

2.8 Blind and partially-sighted students and pupils require the same access to the range of subjects and curricula that are available to their contemporaries. They have the right to expect the support, equipment and technology required to enable the same academic outcomes as other pupils and students of comparable ability and motivation.

2.9 Visual loss means that it often takes blind and partially-sighted pupils and students longer to perform the same academic tasks as other students of comparable ability. Blind and partially-sighted pupils and students consequently need appropriate additional time and other necessary special conditions (such as additional lighting or computer equipment) to undertake assessments and examinations on an equal basis with other students and pupils. Examination and assessment materials are required in the pupils' and students' format of choice.

2.10 Blind and partially-sighted pupils and students need to be able to submit their written, examined and assessed work in the format of their choice to ensure parity with other students.

2.11 Blind and partially-sighted students need to learn to read and write Braille, including Braille notations for music, science, mathematics and languages, and/or to optimise the use of residual sight to read large print and to acquire the skills required to utilise information and communication technologies via the application of access technologies to reduce or eliminate the information, communication and educational barriers created by visual loss.

2.12 Blind and partially-sighted students and pupils also need to learn daily living and travel skills and techniques to enable them to live independent and inclusive lives in the community. The teaching of these specialist subjects needs to take place throughout primary and secondary education, as an integral aspect of physical, academic and social education and be consonant with the developmental status of pupils and students.

2.13 Blind and partially-sighted pupils and students may experience difficulties in travelling to school or college. This may be because of public transport issues, aspects of personal risk or safety or because heavy Braille books and/or equipment has to be transported. Personal transport between home and the place of learning may therefore be needed without additional cost to the pupil/student or family.

2.14 The ability of blind and partially-sighted people to lead inclusive lives in the community depends largely on their capacity to obtain and retain employment. The acquisition of educational and vocational qualifications consistent with abilities is crucial. It is therefore essential that blind and partially-sighted people have the opportunity, the support and the accommodation they require to successfully undertake tertiary educational and vocational courses throughout their lives, and especially on completion of formal secondary education.

2.15 The needs and rights of blind and partially-sighted pupils and students can often be met in inclusive settings, providing that the range and quality of required support is provided in physical, academic and social environments that are fully accessible and that due accommodations are made. However, there will be some blind and partially-sighted pupils and students, who, perhaps because of the nature and extent of additional disabilities, will require education in special settings, to ensure their specific needs and characteristics are catered for, thereby ensuring their optimum social and academic development. Whether education is provided in inclusive or specialist settings, the rights and needs set out in paragraphs 1 through 14 above must be met.

Important Aspects of Convention Text

3.1 Convention text - R1 2(b) Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live.

3.2 Convention text - R2 2(c) Reasonable accommodation of the individual's requirements is provided.

3.3 Convention text - R3 2(d) Persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education.

3.4 Convention text - R4 2(e) Effective individualised support measures are provided in environments that maximise academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion.

3.5 Requirement - In all schools attended by blind and partially-sighted people, study course materials, relevant text and reference books must be provided in accessible formats of the students' choice.

3.6 Requirement - Appropriate support must be given to enable blind and partially-sighted pupils and students to understand and work with graphical materials and concepts, participate fully in practical course work and in physical, sporting and leisure activities.

3.7 Requirement - Blind and partially-sighted pupils and students must be enabled to participate fully in all aspects of life of the educational establishment. This includes extra curricula, extra mural and recreational activities.

3.8 Requirement - Blind and partially-sighted pupils and students must be provided with, and trained to use the equipment and access technology they require to accomplish their studies. This equipment may be required in the educational establishment, as well as the home and other place of study.

3.9 Requirement - Buildings must be designed, built, furnished and equipped to conform to the accessibility standards and guidelines referred to in Article 9, Accessibility. Individual accessibility needs, for example task lighting, must also be accommodated.

3.10 Requirement - Blind and partially-sighted students and pupils must have the same access to the full range of subjects and curricula as all other students at educational establishments.

3.11 Requirement - Blind and partially-sighted pupils and students should be given appropriate additional time and other necessary conditions to undertake assessments and examinations on an equal basis with other students and pupils. Examinations and assessment materials must be provided in the pupils' or students' format of choice.

3.12 Requirement - Blind and partially-sighted pupils and students must be able to submit their written, examined and assessed work in the format of their choice.

3.13 Requirement - Where necessary, travel to and from the educational establishment should be provided and funded for blind and partially-sighted pupils and students.

3.14 Convention text - R5 3. States Parties shall enable persons with disabilities to learn life and social development skills to facilitate their full and equal participation in education and as members of the community. To this end, States Parties shall take appropriate measures, including:

(a) Facilitating the learning of Braille, alternative script, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication and orientation and mobility skills, and facilitating peer support and mentoring;

(c) Ensuring that the education of persons, and in particular children, who are blind, deaf or deafblind, is delivered in the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication for the individual, and in environments which maximize academic and social development.

3.15 Requirement - To ensure long term optimum academic and social development, blind and partially-sighted infants and young children and their parents must have access to the active and continuing support of qualified professional staff who are able to ensure that families are provided with any additional resources required because of visual or other disabilities, are able to offer counselling, emotional support and advise on the social, psychological, physical and educational development of infants and children with visual disabilities. Early identification, diagnosis and referral to professional staff that can offer this service are crucial.

3.16 Requirement - Blind and partially-sighted pupils and students must be provided with teaching and instruction in subjects and skills appropriate to the nature and extent of their visual disability and developmental status. This includes reading and writing Braille, including Braille notations for music, science, mathematics and languages, optimising the use of residual sight, use of computers with access technology, keyboard skills, mobility and daily living skills.

3.17 Convention text - R6 4. In order to help ensure the realisation of this right, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to employ teachers, including teachers with disabilities, who are qualified in sign language and/or Braille, and to train professionals and staff who work at all levels of education. Such training shall incorporate disability awareness and the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, educational techniques and materials to support persons with disabilities.

3.18 Requirement - Teaching staff who work with blind or partially-sighted pupils or students must have appropriate training and skills to ensure they:
3.19
- Understand pupils' and students' needs and characteristics;
- are able to teach Braille and integrate the teaching of Braille reading and writing into normal teaching programmes;
- understand how to assist partially-sighted pupils and students to optimise the use of residual sight in an educational setting;
- can provide the support required to enable students to utilise and access information and communications technology, equipment and access technology;
- can assist students and pupils to successfully integrate into the social and cultural life of the educational establishment;
- support pupils and students to participate fully in sporting, leisure, recreation and non-curricular activities.

3.19 Convention text - R6 5. States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access general tertiary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. To this end, States Parties shall ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities.

3.20 Requirement - Teachers and lecturers must have recourse to expert advice and support in relation to the needs of student.

3.21 Requirement - Students must have access to the same range of literature and teaching materials in formats of their choice as other students.

3.22 Requirement - Students must have the resources needed to obtain, maintain and learn to use the equipment required to address the information and communication barriers they confront.

3.23 Requirement - Students must receive the support and encouragement needed to fully participate in all aspects of college and university life.

3.24 Requirement - Appropriate accommodations must be made to enable students to participate in practical work, complete assignments and sit examinations on equal terms with their normally sighted peers.

TA
18/12/07