“Disability is part of the human condition,” Says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “Almost every one of us will be permanently or temporarily disabled at some point in life. We must do more to break the barriers which segregate people with disabilities, in many cases forcing them to the margins of society.”
As per the World Health Organization; Disability is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. Impairment is a problem in body function of structure; an activity limitation is difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Thus disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.
Children with disabilities are one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society. They face daily discrimination in the form of negative attitudes, lack of adequate policies and legislation and, they are harshly barred from realizing their rights to healthcare, education, and even survival. Their disabilities also place them at a higher risk of physical abuse, and often exclude them from receiving proper nutrition or humanitarian assistance in emergencies .
Children with disabilities are entitled to all rights guaranteed to children under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Articles have been formulated to ensure children with disabilities are not discriminated. For example, Article 2 asserts that children should never be discriminated against on grounds of disability. Article 23 emphasizes the rights and freedoms of children with disabilities and the importance of promoting their full enjoyment of life experiences and of exercising their independence to the greatest extent possible.
Article 28 says that children with disabilities are more likely to be poor throughout their lifetimes, due to lack of education, exclusion from apprenticeships or job training programmes, and exclusion from employment and micro-credit efforts. According to UNICEF estimate out of 100 million children with disabilities under 5 years of age worldwide, 80% live in developing countries, where the provision of pre-primary education and other basic services tends to be insufficient. The disabled children are often regarded as inferior and “passive recipients of care and protection” instead to lift them up to their rightful status as “full members of society”. The education makes them inclusive in the family as well as in the society which makes them independent in their activities and life. Children with disabilities are less likely to start school than non-disabled children and have lower rates of staying in school . Ninety per cent of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school, says UNESCO.
Education is a means to ensure that people can enjoy and defend their rights in society and contribute to the process of democratization and personalization both in society and in education.
Education is a human right with immense power to transform. Education of children with disabilities (CWD) has been a part of policy developments in India for the past few decades. The YaR centers under Don Bosco organizations need to pay high attention to the education as well as vocational training for a better sustainable development of the marginalized children around us. The centers also need to have the child friendly infrastructure for them as part of the child care and protection. The question raised here that whether organizations have failed to document the details of the children with disabilities or are not approached to the organizations?