Disability affects all societies and almost all families at some time. According to the United Nations (UN), “Everyone is likely to experience disability at some point during his/her lifetime because of illness, accident, or aging.” On December 13, 2006, the UN formally agreed on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first human rights treaty of the 21st century, to protect and enhance the rights and opportunities of the world’s estimated 650 million people with disabilities.
What can educators do? Studies show that inclusive education not only provides the best educational environment, including for children with physical or intellectual disabilities, but also helps to break down barriers and stereotypes. This approach helps to create a society that readily accepts and embraces disability instead of fearing it. When children with and without disabilities grow up together and learn side by side in the same school, they develop greater understanding and respect for each other. This issue of Rights Sites News is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities by helping teachers create more positive and inclusive learning environments for all children.