C&S SIGN Seminar Series (Clare O’Donoghue )


Accessing the Rights of Children with Disabilities: Attitudes towards and Challenges for SEND in Brazil

DATE & TIME: Postponed, new date to be advised soon

LOCATION: Committee Room 2, Town Hall, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

Clare O’Donoghue (Middlesex University)

The 1988 Brazilian constitution and the 1996 National Education Guidelines and Framework Law (LDB) both state the right for all children to be educated inclusively, free from discrimination. Furthermore, Brazil is a signatory to the EFA 2015  and  Millennium Goals, both prioritizing universal primary education. The 10-year EFA plan, the National Plan for Early Childhood (2010) and the National Education Plan (2014) put forward strategies to improve the quality of and increased participation in education for all Brazilians. However, until the UNCRPD (2007) there was little focus on the rights of children with disabilities. Yet as Richler (2005) and UNESCO (2015) point out, disability intersects with all other marginalised groups. Universal primary education will not be achieved if children with disabilities are ignored. Brazil has an improving record on supporting access to education for  children with physical disabilities (UN 2014), less so children with cognitive impairments labelled ‘academic failure’ (fracasso escolar). This paper examines to what extent the epidemic of Zika induced microcephaly in newborns, combined with hosting the 2016 Paralympic Games influences social and cultural attitudes towards disability and a fully inclusive, rather than merely ‘integrative’, education system as represented in ECEC and primary-school policy initiatives.


Richler, D. (2005) Quality Education for Persons with Disabilities 2005 EFA Monitoring Report-Commissioned Study, UNESCO. Available at: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000146694

UNESCO (2015) World Education Forum, Incheon Declaration. Available at: https://en.unesco.org/world-education-forum-2015/incheon-declaration

UN (2014) Consideration of reports submitted by States – parties under article 35 of the Convention -Initial reports of States parties due in 2010 – Brazil Available at: https://www.refworld.org/docid/55c871674.html