Reconsidering Development Vol. 2, no.2 (2011) Reconsidering Development and the "Institutions"
"Global trends in meeting the educational rights of children with disabilities:
From international institutions to local responses"
Matthew J. Schuelka and Christopher J. Johnstone, PhD
The 2006 United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was an important and landmark treaty recognizing the human rights of persons with disabilities. In this article we focus on the educational rights of children with disabilities as directed by the Convention, specifically the right to receive an inclusive education. We view inclusive education as a convergence of education and disability rights initiatives within the UN and explain what this means in practice. In the second half of the paper, inclusive education is discussed in the context of the Global South and we observe the interplay between global and local interpretations of this model. We conclude with the argument that international human rights treaties matter; with the understanding that they must be locally and culturally actualized. International institutions can encourage South-South collaboration and local ownership of pragmatic solutions. Such encouragement may decrease accusations of cultural imperialism and facilitate local innovation in inclusive education.