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A girl with disabilities in a classroom

Education

There are 240 million children with disabilities in the world, and they are among the most likely to be out of school. Without access to education, children with disabilities are more likely to grow up in poverty. We believe that every child deserves an education, an opportunity to make friends and create happy memories, and the chance of a better future.

We need to break this cycle by addressing the barriers that prevent children with disabilities from reaching their full potential.

Why are children with disabilities not at school?

Accessibility, discrimination, and poverty are just some of the reasons why millions of children with disabilities around the world are not in school. Every child deserves the chance to go to school.

  • Children with physical disabilities often can’t access the school room. If schools don’t have ramps, lifts, and other accessible facilities it can be impossible for children using assistive devices like wheelchairs or crutches to get around school and take part in school activities.
  • Sometimes children can’t get hold of the assistive devices they need in the first place, including pairs of glasses which are crucial for children to thrive in the classroom.
  • Teachers serve as advocates, mentors, and guides throughout a child’s education. However, without the right tools and training, teachers aren’t equipped to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
  • Some communities still harbour stigma and prejudice against children with disabilities, denying them their right to education and opportunity to fulfil their potential.
  • Families of children with disabilities who are living in poverty often cannot afford school fees, especially when already faced with the extra costs of medical care or support.
  • Many children need a pair of glasses but are unable to get hold of them. Basic tasks like seeing the blackboard, reading and navigating the classroom are often impossible without proper vision support.
Tinotenda sits at a table with a pen in her hand. There are other students sat in the background.

Being disabled does not mean unable, we are able, we can be able. Involve us. Isolation is discrimination, education for all. Discrimination is isolation.

From a poem by Tinotenda, aged 10, Zimbabwe.

Our Work

We work with local partners in some of the poorest communities across Africa and Asia to help children with disabilities access good quality education.

  • We are training teachers in these communities to give them the tools and knowledge to meet the needs of children with disabilities, so they can learn alongside their peers.
  • We are helping schools to adapt their buildings so children with disabilities can move more freely around the school, providing more independence and opportunities.
  • We are working to change the stigma around children with disabilities in education. We are showing communities and school leaders that people with disabilities can and should participate in all aspects of life, including going to school.
  • We are working to challenge and improve school curricula, polices and systems so that all children can access good quality education.

Our impact

Together, we have helped thousands of children go to school, setting them up for a brighter future. A good education means children are more likely to break free from poverty and provide for their families.

A girl in school uniform sits behind a desk and smiles at the camera with a pen in her hand.
8,300
children with disabilities helped to go to school
A girl wearing a school uniform writes on the blackboard with chalk.

Donate now

You can help make sure every child, everywhere can go to school and fulfil their potential. Join us today and invest in these children’s future.