For Children with Disabilities, Global Funding for Education Falls Short

Across the globe, millions of children with disabilities are missing out on education because not enough money is being budgeted for their needs. At least half of the world’s 65 million school-age children with disabilities are not in primary or lower secondary schools, and a majority of young children at risk of developmental delays and with disabilities are not benefiting from early childhood education.

Children with disabilities are the most marginalized, excluded, and forgotten-about group when it comes to education and life opportunity, particularly in developing countries.  

A new report, Costing Equity: The Case for Disability-Responsive Education Financing, highlights the financing issue as impeding the success of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all by 2030. The research, produced by the International Disability and Development Consortium and Light for the World, and supported in part by the Open Society Foundations, calls on both governments and donors to urgently take action, and recommends inclusive education as the best approach for children with disabilities.   

Excluding and segregating learners from mainstream education due to disability, race, language, religion, gender, or poverty constitute discrimination. Despite evidence of the significant benefits of inclusive education, which should start in preschool and span all levels of education, most governments and external donors are not directing enough funding toward this issue.

Too often, small allocations are made for special education, or children with disabilities and other groups of excluded children are forgotten altogether. The report finds a persistent failure to invest in system-wide reform.

Early childhood intervention—for those under three years of age—and inclusive preschool education can keep young children with disabilities out of institutions, reduce gaps in development, and avoid the high costs of segregated education and specialized interventions later in life. Inclusive preschool education also leads to the timely start of primary education, drastically reducing out-of-school populations by removing barriers to learning and participation.

Despite strong evidence on what works in education for children with disabilities, and other groups traditionally segregated from mainstream education, government investment worldwide remains insufficient to support the research, expertise, or teacher training needed to facilitate inclusive education.

Costing Equity shows that even among the world’s leading donor education agencies in places like Japan and the Netherlands, the situation falls far short of the targets laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals. The findings suggest that, despite limited signs of progress in some agencies, progress is very slow at the country level.

The report identifies several reasons for the gap between commitments on paper and programs on the ground, including a lack of dedicated staff, a dearth of transparency on education funds directed to inclusive education, and an absence of a comprehensive approach to disability-inclusive education.

The global decline in funding for education is a huge problem and risks further deprioritizing education for children with disabilities. Another major concern identified in the report is domestic funding, which is perceived as the most important source of education financing. Many governments wrongly believe that the returns on investment in inclusive education will be low despite evidence showing that they are two to three times higher for persons with disabilities than for those without.

Low-income countries in particular need to close the gaps between inclusive education policy and practice. The report calls for a more strategic use of existing resources, reprioritization of budgets, stronger focus on quality measures such as improved teacher education, and strong political and community leadership on inclusion.

Inclusive education is by far the most impactful, cost-effective, and proven way forward. Only when governments, together with the world’s leading donor agencies, begin prioritizing this issue will every child, regardless of ability, have the chance to get the education they deserve.

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Dear Madam/Sir, GREETINGS! Would like to know whether you support NGOs NETWORKS in India ?

Thanking you in anticipation.

With best of the regards

Musunuri V.N.Rao

We have an inclusive school in Accra Ghana. Would love to reach out to other educators who are striving out with inclusive education. Our school, Multikids Inclusive Academy is a small school of 100 children from 1 year to 21 years and I can say that Inclusion is great. Please see our new film:

Please may I know Needy children's sponsors who can commit themselves to help needy children's school fees. Thanks [email protected]

Children are the future of the world keep care and give all rights wwithout any discrimination

Hi my name is Cynthia i am Pakistani National. I complete my Education (High) on studies on Disable Category. i have a Speech Disability. I am Being Discriminated many times because of my Disability totally depend on Parents because of my Disability i cannot even i a job and unqualified for Master degree due to my speech and poor back ground

In my country Ethiopian uses inclusive education system but when you see the the school you will find nothing is inclusive starting from the school infrastructure, trained professional teachers on inclusive education, and basic materials for the children with disabilities school leadership; education policy says equitable education for all school age children boys and girls but the issues of equity in education is not addresses well except at policy and plan level there is nothing in schools except few schools who have teachers that can support deaf children in sign language. Priority is not given when you see the current practices of inclusive education. When you asks the officials from the federal they have personally said to me this have lots of significant cost we cannot address some of the disability students needs like mentally retarded children or blind children who want their own curriculum all this needs advocacy at national level this where I can do if I have the support of how influence the people at policy level and national level to make the voice of these children heard and their right to learned is addressed at all level

how and where do i get the form

we are a community based organisation of women living with disabilities.we would like to know whether you support disabled children.

Do you fund abuse prevention for disabled children in Albania?
If there's a grant application form link- could you perhaps send it to me?
Thanks so much.

Am the founder of a Community Based Organization in Kenya's north marginalized parts of the country,asking if you can support programs like education,medication and food security for people with disability and especially the children.

Iam disabled myself but Iam educated, married and have a stable family.Unfortunately it is not so with many of my fellow disabled people who have been left and abandoned to the shackles of illiteracy and poverty. I have a heart to help fund the education of disabled people and I have done all the paper work to register one but I need people to partner with me. Kindly link me to those who want to help in this just cause.

I am working in Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) organization for Person withDisabilities (PwDs) in Nepal. Can you provide any idea for scholorship program to study about disability rehabilitation and inclusion ?

We in Uganda mainly bundibugyo district we don't have quality education for children with disability, so how can these children be able accessing quality education since they can not afford schools fees. Is there any funding organization will fund those children to access quality education? Thank you

My name is Daniel Asfaw. I am PhD canditate at Jimma University, Ethiopia. In the area that I living there is many disable persons who haven't get any education and many orphans also left from education area because of their poverty. Because of this I am start to preparing proposal regarding them, but right now I haven't something to put base for them. How I can complete my mission. thank you

I am from Kenya and would like to know whether you support Children with cerebral Palsy with education assistance and/or assistive devices. I know a number whose parents are struggling to make ends meet. I would like to know what your requirements are for such funding. Regards

I am a Preschool owner (Suneagles Nursery & Junior School) catering for children who are 6 months to 8 years.
I have students who are disabled, I am using rented premises that do not allow me to explore and achieve the vision I have for these children and even an orphanage house that I always dream of. In my country (Zimbabwe) land is not cheap to get especially for establishing a school. I am looking for any organisation or individual who would like to partner with me in order to build a school that will accommodate children from all walks of life. It is my passion and dream to one day be able to help the needy with my own resources such as land and infrastructure, that will allow all this to be possible,
I would really appreciate.

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