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venerdì, Luglio 19, 2024

Disabilities: Italy brings to UN its experience with schools during COVID

NEW YORK, JUNE 15 – At today side event on “Barriers, enablers, and solutions for disability inclusive education”, Italy reaffirmed its commitment to the full inclusion of people with disabilities  in society. To this aim Italy specifically appointed a Minister for Disability, said Antonio Caponetto, Director of the Office for Policies in favor of persons with disabilities of the Italian Government (Presidency of the Council of Ministers).

Caponetto opened he event which was co-hosted by the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report, Human Rights Watch, the World Bank’s Inclusive Education Initiative, Inclusion International and its Catalyst for Inclusive Education programme in the framework of the 14th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It was also co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Panamá to the United Nations, the International Disability Alliance, Instituto Jô Clemente and the Brazilian Coalition of Inclusive Education,

The Global Education Monitoring Report 2020 on inclusion and education showed that children with disabilities were 2.5 times more likely to have never been in school compared to children without disabilities. In fact, there was already a learning crisis before the COVID-19 pandemic caused more than 180 countries to mandate temporary school closures. The pandemic has created new challenges for persons with disabilities in accessing education and supports to learn on an equal basis.

With little to no evidence on disability-inclusive education solutions documented during past outbreaks, such as Ebola, several organizations set out to collect information on children with disabilities and their families as they pivoted to learning remotely while schools were closed. The event explored the data collected and analyzed through the Inclusion International and World Bank IEI surveys as well as Human Rights Watch research on the solution adopted in some schools in Italy. Civil society representatives  reported lived experiences of access to learning during the pandemic, in particular from Italy, Brazil, and the Regional Latin American and African perspectives, as well.

Human Rights Watch in particular has documented how in some schools in Italy students with disabilities were able to attend school in person during Covid-19 lockdowns throughout the 2020/2021 school year, Karolina Kozik, Human Rights Watch representative, reported: this was instrumental for many children with disabilities, for whom remote education was not accessible, to receive the accommodations and supports to ensure their effective education, while some schools created small inclusive groups to ensure students with disabilities could continue to learn with non-disabled peers. (@OnuItalia)


Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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