Education for All! (Vienna, Austria)
“Education for All!” This short appeal hides a long process of fighting for inclusion of people with disabilities into the mainstream educational system. Education for all is closely connected to Inclusion Europe’s no ceasing work for equal rights of people with disabilities and against their social exclusion.
As main topic of its annual conference Europe in Action in 2008, Inclusion Europe has chosen this highly important theme of inclusive education. The conference was organized in cooperation with Lebenshilfe Austria and Lebenshilfe Vienna from 12 to 14 April, 2008 in Kardinal König Haus Centre in Vienna.
Europe in Action 2008 programme has been prepared in cooperation with Inclusion Europe Working Group on Inclusive Education. Experts from the education field as well as parents of children with disabilities met a few times to discuss the issue and identify themes for plenary sessions, focus groups as well as for discussion units. Three main topics have been recognized as the most important to cover points of view of all concerned parties essential for the process of transformation:
- Education objectives for young people and families
- Structure and organization of inclusive schools
- The policies, structures and systems of inclusive education
With our conference we wanted to open an inclusive idea to the public, especially by inviting parents, teachers and young people themselves to our open market of projects and ideas on 14 April morning block. We intend to make a step towards the public feelings, towards the practical organizational solutions and, at the same time, to show to policy makers what the picture of social Europe looks like from the point of view of young people with disabilities and their parents. Well aware of importance of decision-maker’s support we have asked European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Mr. Jan Figel, to become a member of an Honorary Committee of the conference. Our aim is to present the idea of inclusive education in realistic light and work on the real practical ways for implementation on all required levels.