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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality


Article 24 - Education
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Sixth Session


Consolidation of proposals submitted by the Facilitator

Draft Article 17

1. States Parties recognise the right of all persons with disabilities to education. With a view to achieving this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education [system, including pre-school, primary, secondary, tertiary, vocational training] [at all levels] and life-long learning, directed to:

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

(b) enabling all persons with disabilities to participate effectively in a free society; and

(c) the development of persons with disabilities’ personality, talents, creativity as well as mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential.

2. In realising this right, States Parties shall ensure:

(a) that all persons with disabilities can access inclusive, quality free primary and secondary education to the extent possible in the communities in which they live;

(b) reasonable accommodation of the person’s requirements;

(c) the development of initial and continuing training, which incorporates disability awareness, the use of appropriate communication means and modes, educational techniques and materials to support persons with disabilities, for all professionals and staff who work at all levels of education; and

(d) persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education. In exceptional circumstances where the general education system can not adequately meet the support needs of persons with disabilities, States Parties shall ensure that effective alternative support measures are provided, consistent with the goal of full inclusion.

(e) that persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on account of their disability, and that [children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary and secondary education on account of their disability].

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:

(a) facilitate the learning of Braille, alternative script, orientation and mobility skills, peer support and mentoring;

(b) facilitate the learning of sign language and the promotion of the linguistic identity of the Deaf community; and

(c) ensure that the education of [children with disabilities] [children who are deaf, deaf/blind, and blind] is delivered in the most appropriate languages and modes of communication for the individual, and in environments which maximise academic and social development.

4. States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure quality education to students with sensory disabilities by ensuring the employment of teachers who are fluent in sign language or Braille.

5. States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities may access general tertiary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning without discrimination and on the basis of equality of opportunity. To that end, States Parties shall render appropriate support to persons with disabilities.


Facilitator’s Comments

Qualifying language that denotes progressive realisation has been avoided. It is intended that these obligations will be clearly defined within Article 4 (General Obligations), thus eliminating the requirement for qualifying language within substantive articles.

The equality provisions in the chapeau may need reworking in light of agreement of the overall approach to be taken throughout the convention.

The term ‘linguistic identity’ has been used to be consistent with other existing international law provisions.

Revisions were made to 1(d) based on feedback provided by governments and NGOs in the meeting held on August 11 regarding the need to tighten the exception in that provision.



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