Sightsavers’ vision is a world where no one is blind from avoidable causes and where people with disabilities can participate equally in society.
We work in more than 30 countries worldwide across five thematic areas to deliver our overarching vision: inclusive education, eye health, refractive error, social inclusion and neglected tropical diseases.
Our work in inclusive education:
There are an estimated 240 million children with disabilities around the world – approximately 1 in 10 of all children worldwide. We believe that every child has the right to a quality, inclusive education. By working with governments, policy makers and partners, we commit to remove the barriers currently faced by people with disabilities to make sure no child is left behind. Every girl and boy should be able to experience the transformative power of education and be able to fulfil their dreams.
Our work is guided by the principle to ‘leave no one behind’ and driven by a systems approach, as articulated in our inclusive education strategy. We are committed to supporting governments in lower income countries in their efforts to achieve SGD 4 and embed disability inclusion into their national education plans and programmes. We also partner with organisations of people with disabilities across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to ensure people with disabilities have a meaningful say in education decision-making. We acknowledge that transforming education is a collective effort and we’re dedicated to actively contributing to the global and national movements working to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education, which is not possible without addressing barriers for inclusion. We promote inclusive education, with three overarching goals:
- to increase the capacity of schools and communities to provide inclusive education;
- to increase the capacity of ministries of education to support schools and communities to deliver inclusive education; and
- to strengthen policy frameworks, education sector plans and donor/ country commitments to promote inclusive education.
For example, in Senegal and Nigeria, we’re training teachers to support children with disabilities in their classrooms, and during the school closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we supported teachers, parents and pupils to learn remotely with accessible technologies. In Malawi, our early learning centres teach all children together so that children with disabilities can learn alongside their peers. In Uganda and Pakistan, we support the government to develop inclusive education modules for their teacher training colleges and we have supported the Ministries of Education in Sierra Leone and Liberia in the formulation of their new education sector plans. We support efforts in Mali and Pakistan to make assessments accessible for children with sensory impairments. Sightsavers regularly calls on governments and institutions to fund education efficiently and equitably at global forums such as the Transforming Education Summit and the Global Disability Summit.
- Transforming Education in Kenya and Nigeria
- Making assessments more accessible for children with disabilities
- Data and disability: piloting the Child Functioning Module in Nigerian schools