Global Conference on Inclusive Education: 21-23 October 2009, Salamanca, Spain
The Global Conference of Inclusion International on Inclusive Education last week was a huge success and was greatly enjoyed by all!
The conference, organised by Inclusion International, Inclusion Europe and INICO University, took place in Salamanca in Spain and was attended by over 400 participants from around the world, including self-advocates and their families, representatives from disability organisations, professors, researchers and experts.
The three-day conference looked back on the progress made since the initial Salamanca Statement made in 1994, whilst also looking forwards towards what can be done to ensure that education for all children becomes a reality.
Amongst the many inspiring speakers present at the conference, participants heard from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, Vernor Muñoz, , Inmaculada Placencia-Porrero from the European Commission and the Spanish Minister of Education; Ángel Gabilondo Pujol.
During the conference, Diane Richler, president of Inclusion International, presented the Global Report on Inclusive Education 2009. The report was compiled using information from member organisations, experts, ministries of education, grassroots organisations and experts from over 75 countries, through online surveys, focus groups and personal accounts.
The conference also featured a large number of workshops, giving participants the opportunity to air their views and to take part in discussions on a more intimate level with experts, academics and representatives of disability organisations from across the world.
At the close of the conference, the presidents of Inclusion Europe and Inclusion International Ingrid Körner and Diane Richler, reflected upon the progress made since the Salamanca Statement in 1994, and looked at the way ahead.
The closing ceremony saw the presentation of the Salamanca Conference Resolution. Through this Resolution, Inclusion Europe and Inclusion International pledged to reaffirm their commitment to the Salamanca Statement and the right to education worldwide as promoted by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). They also launched Initiative 24 on Article 24 of the UNCRPD.
The many plenary sessions, discussion groups and exchanges of experience and knowledge throughout the conference provided solidarity amongst participants, a chance to see the progress made since the Salamanca Statement 15 years ago and a strong input into future policy-making to ensure that all children have access to education.