|Students reading braille in a Ghana classroom.|
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), adopted on December 13, 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters, represents a paradigm shift from viewing disability as a medical or social welfare concern, to recognizing it as a human rights issue.
In July 2009 the CRPD became the first human rights instrument signed by the United States in the 21st century. The Convention takes a comprehensive view of disability and focuses on making all aspects of community life accessible to all people, including employment, education, housing, health, political participation, access to justice, cultural expression, and entertainment.
Perkins and the UN CRPD
Perkins participated in UN-sponsored meetings associated with the passage of the Convention and was one of the nongovernmental organizations that spoke at a conference in March 2006 in New York on key implementation issues for this important protocol. Perkins staff have also spoken about the importance of the Convention around the globe.
Article 24 of the CRPD addresses education. States are to ensure equal access to primary and secondary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning. Education is to employ the appropriate materials, techniques and forms of communication. Pupils with support needs are to receive support measures, and pupils who are blind, deaf and deafblind are to receive their education in the most appropriate modes of communication from teachers who are fluent in sign language and braille. Education of persons with disabilities must foster their participation in society, their sense of dignity and self worth and the development of their personality, abilities and creativity.
Education for All
Since the UN CRPD passage, increasing attention is being given to children with disabilities. Perkins International applauds the growing efforts to advance UNESCO’s Education for All initiative. To contribute to discussions on education reform, Perkins International has released a position paper on how Education for All must and can include children who are blind or visually impaired with or without additional disabilities. "Advancing Education for All Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired with Multiple Disabilities," includes:
- Policy recommendations for programs addressing the education of children blind or visually impaired
- Criteria for advancing braille literacy for students who are blind or visually impaired
- Strategies for developing individualized education plans
Download Our Education for All Position Paper
If you have questions on the publication, please contact Perkins International by emailing PerkinsInternational@perkins.org.