Cor Meijer, the Director of European Agency for Development in Special Needs and Inclusive Education was invited to attend the launch of the World Report on Disability at the United Nations Building in New York, USA on 9 June 2011. The report, which is a joint publication of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, summarises various sources of evidence on disability and makes recommendations for action to support the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006).
The report was launched in the presence of the WHO Director-General and a senior official of the World Bank, as well as high-level representatives from United Nations Member States, celebrities with disabilities, representatives of disabled people’s organisations, professional groups and non-governmental organisations. The launch was followed by a half-day technical session on how to implement the World report on disability. In this session, Cor Meijer presented reflections on behalf of the Agency in relation to Chapter 7 of the report focussing upon Education.
A main reflection on the World Report presented by Cor Meijer focussed upon the importance of teachers in making inclusive education a reality. He said: ‘We can discuss inclusion on many levels: conceptual level, policy level, normative or research level, but in the end it is the teacher who has to cope with a variety of students in the classroom! It is the teacher who implements the principles of inclusive education. If the teacher is not able to educate a variety of students in the mainstream classroom, all the good intentions for inclusive education are worthless. So the challenge for the future is to develop curricula and to educate teachers in how to cope with diversity.’
Read more about the World Report on Disability at the following link: http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/en/index.html