Our work on inclusive education

Our goal is to improve the lives of children with disabilities, and break the cycle of poverty by ensuring accessible learning is available for all.

A teacher in a classroom in Kenya leans down to teach two boys a task with bottle tops.

Education is a fundamental right, but for the most marginalised children, and especially those with disabilities, their rights are too often denied.

Ensuring that education is inclusive is essential for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 in 2030.

Since 2018, Inclusive Futures has worked with consortium partners and organisations of people with disabilities to support governments in five countries (Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania, Nepal and Nigeria) to improve inclusive education. The programmes aim to innovate and scale successful approaches to disability inclusion in mainstream education, and remove barriers to ensure children with disabilities can take part.

Our approach to inclusive education

We identify the reasons for exclusion

Quality education is key to escaping poverty, but children with disabilities may struggle to attend school because of lack of appropriate transportation, ongoing negative attitudes, or a learning environment that is not able to support their needs.

We promote an inclusive environment

We aim to tackle these key issues to ensure children can participate in school in a number of ways. This includes by promoting a disability-inclusive learning environment, and maximising learning outcomes for those who attend.

We provide training and technology

We provide access to assistive technology and inclusive assessment tools, and train teachers in inclusive teaching methods so they can adapt their curricula and accommodate the needs of all children.

We encourage inclusive strategies

We’re also aiming for system change in mainstream education and influence beyond each individual school. We’re focusing on integrating inclusion into national government strategies and systems, to expand its reach.

Our education projects

A young boy from Bangladesh in his school uniform.
© Sightsavers/Reza Shahriar Rahman

Strengthening the education system to support children with disabilities in Bangladesh

Duration: January 2021 – December 2024
Donor: UK aid
Partners: Sightsavers, ADD International, Sense International

This project covers two districts of Bangladesh to improve educational outcomes and provide equal access to education for children with disabilities, particularly with complex and multiple disabilities, both those in school and out of school. It also aims to improve the inclusivity of educational systems, through school infrastructure and planning systems, and improved referral pathways. Project snapshot

A group of school children smile at the camera inside their classroom.
© Sightsavers

Promoting inclusive early childhood development education in Kenya

Duration: February 2020 – December 2023
Donor: UK aid
Partners: Sightsavers, Humanity & Inclusion, Sense International, Institute of Development Studies

This initiative worked through government structures and with civil society to identify affordable, contextually appropriate, scalable and sustainable inclusive early childhood development education approaches for children with disabilities in selected pre-primary schools in Homa Bay and Kakuma refugee camp. It also looked at ways to improve home-based care for children with multiple and complex disabilities. Project snapshot

In a classroom, a teacher helps a student with their work.
© Sightsavers

Support mainstreaming inclusion so all learn equally (SMILE Project) in Nigeria

Duration: May 2019 – September 2023
Donor: UK aid
Partners: Sightsavers, Institute of Development Studies

Through the strong leadership of local organisations of people with disabilities, this project established stronger links between schools, children with disabilities and their parents in Kaduna state. It supported school-based management committees (SBMCs) and/ or parent teacher associations (PTAs) in the target schools to increase their knowledge and understanding of inclusive education concepts and gave them the skills to ensure more effective disability inclusive school planning. Project snapshot

Three schoolgirls laugh together outside.
© Sightsavers/Jason J Mulikita

Promoting inclusive education for girls with disabilities in Tanzania

Duration: August 2019 – March 2025
Donor: UK aid
Partners: Sense International, Light for the World, ADD International

The project is supporting children with disabilities, especially girls, to learn in three remote districts in the Mwanza and Shinyanga regions. It is improving teaching and learning environments, referral systems and support, as well as ensuring the government’s education policies are effectively implemented by providing systemic support. By collaborating with the nationwide Shula Bora education programme, the project will amplify its work on disability inclusion throughout Tanzania. Project snapshot

A boy sits smiling outside a building next to a pair of crutches.
© Pralhad Gairapipli/Humanity & Inclusion

Strengthening inclusive education systems and services in Nepal

Duration: November 2019 – December 2024
Donor: UK aid
Partners: Humanity & Inclusion, Sense International

This project is developing and supporting local government, schools and other stakeholders to implement policies, procedures and plans to support education for children with disabilities. This includes training, support and development of good practices and guidelines for parents, children, school authorities, other community members and stakeholders. Project snapshot

Research and resources

Support guide for parents and caregivers of children with disabilities

A key resource from our SMILE inclusive education project in Nigeria.

Inclusive education in resource-constrained environments

This report reviews recent examples of good practice in providing inclusive education when resources are constrained.

Education for children with disabilities during COVID-19

A look at the impact of COVID-19 on education for children with disabilities in low and middle income countries.

Evidence Digest, focus issue: Education

Disability-inclusive education in focus.