Bridging the Gap promotes the creation of a Latin American community of good practices in inclusive education for people with disabilities
How can we move towards inclusive and accessible educational policies for the educational inclusion of children with disabilities? This is the question that has been addressed at the Capitalisation for Latin America Conference held by the Bridging the Gap project.
The objective of this virtual meeting was to promote the creation of a Latin American community of good practices in inclusive educational policies based on data obtained according to internationally recognised principles.
The conference was a meeting between disabled persons’ organisations (DPO), institutional representatives from Latin America and development cooperation professionals. This event was part of Bridging the Gap’s capitalisation strategy and consisted of two online sessions: a technical seminar and a policy conference.
The technical seminar began with an opening speech by Javier González, director of the SUMMA Laboratory for Research and Innovation in Education for Latin America and the Caribbean on the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report in Latin America. After the opening speech, three panel discussions addressed the data and indicators on the implementation of SDG4 on education, as well as on the recovery and post-COVID-19 strategies in the region. These were attended by representatives from disabled persons’ organisations and public institutions including Professor Ana Verocai, from the Uruguayan National Public Education Administration (ANEP), who presented the project ‘The Uruguayan Educational System Towards Inclusive Education’ carried out in collaboration with the EUROsociAL+ Programme.
The third panel dealt with the role of governments, civil society and development professionals in inclusive education, and showed that the best way to include people with disabilities in society is through a solid and inclusive education system.
The second session aimed to facilitate dialogue between the institutional representatives from Bridging the Gap partner countries Ecuador and Paraguay. On this occasion there were talks given by the coordinators with Spanish Cooperation in Ecuador and Paraguay, the head of cooperation with the European Union Delegation in both countries, the minister of the Paraguayan National Secretariat for the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SENADIS), Mariela Soledad and the government advisor and president of the National Council for Disability Equality (CONADIS) in Ecuador, Xavier Torres, as well as the president of the Latin American Network of Non-Governmental Organizations for Persons With Disabilities and their Families (RIADIS) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA), Ana Lucía Arellano, who gave a moving speech highlighting the link between poverty and disability.
The conference concluded with a call to action jointly promoted by Bridging the Gap and RIADIS asking all the Latin American nations, international organisations, technical and financial partners and development agencies to implement and promote inclusive and accessible educational policies.
Bridging the Gap is a project that aims to reduce the social exclusion of people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Latin America, it is financed by the European Union and jointly managed by FIIAPP.