5th European eAccessibility Forum
Benefits and costs of e-accessibility

28/03/2011, 9:00 - 18:00
Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie - 30 Avenue Corentin Cariou 75019 - Paris, France

 
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Use of ICTs for Inclusive Education: costs and benefits

Donal Rice (Ireland)
National Disability Authority
DJRice (at) nda.ie

Speaker's information


photo Donal Rice

Dónal Rice is the Senior Design Advisor, ICT for the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority of Ireland.

He chairs the CEN Workshop Agreement on Curriculum for Training Professionals in Universal Design and is the Editorial Coordinator of the e-Accessibility Toolkit for Policy Makers (a joint ITU, G3ict, UN-GAID project). 

Dónal Rice is currently undertaking a PhD thesis in eAccessibility and legislation with the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway through which he collaborates on the "Study on Monitoring eAccessibility" consortium. This communication is based on his Ph.D.

 

Summary


Warning : The short papers of this conference have been prepared by BrailleNet who accept any responsibility for them. But presentation materials provided for download (full-papers or slides) have been provided by the authors themselves.

Inclusive education aims at reducing obstacles related to education of disabled populations (but not only). ICT are an important way to promote inclusive education through compensation, didactical methods renewal and communication means and strategies improvement.

Inclusive education development is based on several international recommendations: The 2006 UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the primary piece of international law informing national policy on disability affairs around the world.

Without even considering the technological and pedagogical benefits resulting from ICT use in inclusive education, it is still possible to evaluate the economic cost of their absence. As with many other areas of ICT accessibility, the cost modelling should not solely be based around the cost of providing individual supports but look at the wider societal benefits. 

To this end, cost / benefits analysis for providing ICTs to enable persons with disabilities to access education and thereby become a productive member of the workforce should factor in the wider societal and economic benefits. UNESCO, for example, recommends that any cost modeling of inclusive education should take into account the high social and economic costs that will be incurred by a country if these children are not educated. Studies show the loss of gross domestic product (GDP) by not including persons with disabilities.  In regions where a person’s earning potential is higher, the GDP lost as a result of disability is therefore higher, with the estimates as high as 35.8% in Europe and Central Asia, followed by North America at 29.1% and East Asia and the Pacific at 15.6%. The remaining four regions each account for less than 10% of the global total.

The UNESCO Policy Brief “ICT for Inclusion: Reaching More Students More Effectively” proposes a number of main areas for policy interventions: infrastructure, support for practice, needs assessment for persons with disabilities, training for students and teachers, co-operation and research on best practices and evaluation on the benefits and uses of ATs (assistive technologies).

For more details, see Appendix 1.

Documents



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