In its preamble, the Convention recalls Article 36 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has a right to education.
Defining Inclusive Education
The Convention recognizes that access to education is a fundamental right of persons with disabilities. Education is to be provided, wherever possible, in an “inclusive” manner; that is, within the context of the mainstream educational system and not in a segregated setting. Article 24 contains specific obligations that include the provision of “reasonable accommodations” for students with disabilities. These may include, as appropriate, access to (along with training in, and use of) accessible ICTs, including assistive technology and educational materials in an accessible format.
Defining Reasonable Accommodation
As defined in Article 2, reasonable accommodation is a key enabler for persons with disabilities to enjoy equal rights. . Reasonable accommodation means the provision of adjustments and accommodations to ensure that a person with a disability can enjoy or exercise their human rights on an equal basis with other individuals. A reasonable adjustment should be both necessary and appropriate and should not impose a disproportionate burden on the accommodator.
One example of a reasonable accommodation in the educational context may be the provision of the appropriate assistive technology that is necessary for a person with a disability to access education on an equitable basis with their peers. Article 2 also states that denial of reasonable accommodation is a form of “discrimination on the basis of disability.” Article 5 further emphasizes this by stating, “In order to promote equality and eliminate discrimination, State Parties shall take all appropriate steps to ensure reasonable accommodation is provided.”
Staff Training and Peer Support
Article 24 also contains an important requirement pertaining to the professionals and staff members who work in all areas of education. They should be given “disability awareness training and [training in] the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, educational techniques and materials to support persons with disabilities.”
Article 26 (on rehabilitation) emphasizes the importance of peer support. This is particularly relevant in the training in and use of accessible ICTs in educational and job training settings.