All posts by Philippa Liebenberg

UN report on mainstreaming disabilities in the development agenda

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The UN Secretary General has released a report on disability in the post-2015 development agenda, entitled ‘The Way Forward: A disability-inclusive agenda towards 2015 and beyond’. It recommends that disability should be mainstreamed as a development issue, with accessibility included as a central theme of the agenda.

The report was released in advance of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Meeting on the realisation of the MDGs and Other Development Goals for Persons with Disabilities (HLMDD). It compares current efforts to address disability with earlier approaches to gender, which sought to treat women as beneficiaries while eventually mainstreaming the issue in development.

The report recommends, amongst others: promoting an understanding of disability as a key element of inclusive and sustainable development; having regular UN global reports on disability and development; and monitoring disability indicators in relation to potential post-2015 goals and targets. Download the report here.

Learning Disabilities

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Parents are often baffled by the problems presented by a child with learning disabilities. Often this “invisible disability” does not become obvious until a child reaches school age. Even then, difficulties may be subtle and hard to recognize.

The Learning Disabilities Association (of America) provides a wealth of information on understanding learning disabilities, negotiating the special education process, and helping your child and yourself. Visit them here.

“No child left behind”

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How children with disabilities are being assisted – Angie Motshekga

Keynote Address by the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, MP, at the Ministerial Roundtable on Disability Discussion held at the DBE Conference Centre, PretoriaPost2

Addressing the Educational Rights of Children Who Are At Risk of Compounded Marginalisation

Addressing the Educational Rights of Children who are at risk of compounded marginalisation, Minister Motshega said:

“At the Basic Education Ministry, we would like to reaffirm our commitment to providing access to quality education and support to all children with disabilities. The ensuing discussions under the theme “No Child Left Behind” signify Government’s commitment to ensuring that the constitutional right to basic education is realised for all children, including those with disabilities.”

“In a bid to address the educational rights of children who are at risk of compounded marginalisation, we have developed a new White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This new policy instrument will be presented to the Cabinet this month. The new White Paper broadens the scope in its understanding of marginalisation to include:

– Persons with psycho-social, intellectual and/or neurological disabilities, especially those who live within rural and/or impoverished communities and families,

– Persons that are homeless or displaced or refugees, as they are less likely to access information on their rights, as well as supported decision-making services; and

– Children with severe to profound intellectual disability who are out-of-school.”

Read more on Minister Motshega’s views on inclusive education, and her answer to the recent report stating that more than 500,000 children with disabilities are excluded from basic education. Click here for more…

Silent Exclusion

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Daily Maverick reports on the exclusion of children with disabilities from the SA education system (18 Aug 2015)

Some half-a-million children living with disabilities have been shut out of South Africa’s education system, Human Rights Watch says in a report released today. Although the government claims it has achieved success in the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of providing all children with access to primary schools by 2015, the reality is a far cry from that. Read more…

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