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AGENCY eBULLETIN November 2018

An important milestone was reached by the Agency in 2018. After years of laying the groundwork, the Agency achieved formalisation of its organisation-wide Accessibility Policy in 2018. The Agency presented the policy to its member country representatives at the bi-annual meeting in Vienna in October.

The Agency has recently finalised a variety of publications and online resources. Portugal has created innovative new legislation to guarantee the best possible inclusion, education and support for students with disabilities.

Read more about these developments and publications below.

For more news from the Agency, visit the News section
Contents

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screenshot of the IEA website

Inclusive Education in Action Online Resource: Open Call for Case Studies


Inclusive Education in Action (IEA) is a joint initiative of UNESCO and the Agency. This initiative began in 2009 with the UNESCO Policy Guidelines for Inclusion in Education, aiming to support policymakers’ work on inclusive education. UNESCO together with the Agency have developed an online resource and knowledge-base that presents information from across the globe on inclusive approaches to policy and practice, benefiting both policymakers and practitioners.

This resource base directly aligns with UNESCO's key publication ‘A guide for ensuring inclusion and equity in education’ (2017) and contributes to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education.

The IEA resource-base is available at https://www.inclusive-education-in-action.org

An open call to submit case studies for this resource-base has recently been published. The call aims to collect written accounts of case studies from different regions that fall under one of the following themes:
  • specific policy initiatives for inclusive education;
  • inclusive curriculum development;
  • developing inclusive learning environments;
  • educational staff professional development.
The case studies should present detailed and highly structured material on key policy development in the move towards inclusive education policy and practice. The aim of the case study material is to provide detailed information from policy makers and practitioners for inclusive education, about their work and its results.

For any inquiries regarding the project or the call, please contact: iea@european-agency.org
young student working with assistive technology at an event

Agency Presents Organisation-Wide Accessibility Policy


The Agency has formalised its vision of becoming a role model of accessibility and inclusive practice by presenting its Accessibility policy to its member country representatives at the October bi-annual meeting in Vienna. The main goal of this policy is to provide a fully accessible experience of the Agency and all its activities.

The Agency Accessibility Policy is in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD definition of ‘accessibility’ (UN, 2006). Although the UNCRPD is addressed to State Parties, the Agency sees the accessibility of the physical environment, of working processes and of information and communication technologies as one of its own central responsibilities.

The policy is also in line with European Union (EU) guiding principles and directives, including the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, EU Directive 2016/2102, EU Directive 2017/1564 and Directive 2001/29/EC.

Once published, the Agency’s work on accessibility will also be guided by the new EU Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States as regards the accessibility requirements for products and services.

The Agency understands its vision of accessibility to be a developmental process. This process will require constant review to monitor progress and developments in knowledge of best practice for accessibility. While acknowledging that accessibility is not identical to usability, the Agency understands true accessibility also includes aspects of usability as far as possible.


The Accessibility Policy's six main aims

  • Objective 1. The Agency will disseminate all information and produce all materials in an accessible format, as well as provide only accessible ICT tools and solutions, for both internal and external use.
  • Objective 2. The Agency website will continue to be a model of accessibility by adhering to international standards and by not only informing users about accessibility features, but also openly encouraging feedback on accessibility.
  • Objective 3. All Agency meetings will provide an accessible experience for all participants, from the planning phase to the meeting follow-up. This includes both access to information and information technologies, as well as physical access to every location and activity.
  • Objective 4. The Agency will only procure goods or services which adhere to accessibility criteria.
  • Objective 5. The Agency will develop its accessibility support within the team, including developing a statement/policy on inclusion informing country representatives and staff members on the expected procedure if they develop a special need.
  • Objective 6. The Agency will continuously support and, at regular intervals, monitor all activities related to improving the accessibility of the Agency.
Adopting this accessibility policy is an important Agency milestone and work has now started on developing a plan for implementing it. For further information, please consult https://www.european-agency.org/accessibility

Innovative New Inclusive Education Law in Portugal

Portugal’s updated new Inclusive Education Law will provide some of Europe’s most innovative and genuinely inclusive resources for the future.

Portugal is moving away from the rationale that it is necessary to categorize to intervene. The present decree-law provides a continuous and integrated approach to the school path of each student, assuring quality throughout all compulsory schooling.

The preceding Decree-Law has evolved since its origin in 2008, in accordance with Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Following a rigorous evaluation of the past ten years, the legislation has been further strengthened to guarantee truly universal access and inclusion for all. The key features of the new Decree-Law 54/6 July 2018 require schools to provide a multidisciplinary team to support inclusive education.

Read more …

New Publications
cover of Guidance publication

New Guidance for Teachers and School Leaders


Key Actions for Raising Achievement: Guidance for teachers and school leaders is the final publication from the Agency’s Raising the Achievement of All Learners in Inclusive Education project. The guidance is available on the Agency website as an open-source document.

The new guidance shares the key learning and materials from the project. Its aim is to support schools to focus on equity and inclusion in order to provide quality education for all learners.The guidance is organised according to specific actions that are required individually and collectively to raise learner achievement, together with corresponding key messages relevant to the day-to-day practice of school leaders and teachers.

By sharing a wide range of key research and practice examples, the guidance encourages leaders, teachers and other school-based professionals to read,reflect and collectively consider the potential of the project learning for their own situation.
EASIE project logo

EASIE 2016 Dataset Cross-Country Report


The EASIE 2016 Dataset Cross-Country Report presents the analysis of the 2016 dataset collected via the European Agency Statistics on Inclusive Education (EASIE) activities and uses the country data available on the EASIE Data web area. It presents 17 agreed indicators with additional gender and ISCED breakdowns and has the potential to directly inform the work of national and European level policy- and decision-makers working in the field of education.

The main focus of the report concerns access to mainstream education, access to inclusive education, and identification rates and placement of learners with an official decision of SEN.

Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education – Reflections and Messages


This publication presents the results of the event organised by the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education at the Council of the European Union on 21 June 2018.
The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education is committed to creating and disseminating Agency information which is accessible for all users. We are unable to guarantee the same level of accessibility of externally produced materials and websites referred to.

For questions and feedback on the eBulletin contact us at ebulletin@european-agency.org

Co-funded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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