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Special Olympics Calls on Governments to Commit 3% of Education Funding for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

January 24 2023 - News Release News Editorial

Today, on International Day of Education, Special Olympics International called on governments around the globe to allocate three percent of education budgets to implement programs which promote social inclusion in schools and fully integrate students with intellectual disabilities (ID). Young people with ID are among the most marginalized demographics in the world and remain underserved by education systems globally. International Day of Education is observed every year on 24 January to celebrate the role of education for peace and development. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the day as International Day of Education on 24 January 2018.

Special Olympics Calls on Governments to Commit 3% of Education Funding for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
“People with intellectual disabilities represent three percent of the population. Allocating three percent of education budgets to develop programs that increase social inclusion is an indisputably fair and logical starting point for governments to support this programming. Doing anything less makes no sense. This allocation will lead to more inclusive schools and more inclusive societies.” DR. TIMOTHY SHRIVER, CHAIRMAN OF SPECIAL OLYMPICS

To help rally government commitments and build truly inclusive classrooms and communities the world over, Special Olympics is convening a Global Leadership Coalition for Inclusion, funded by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). In the coming months, this alliance of government leaders will develop an agenda of inclusive strategies in education and child welfare, and push for the policies and financing needed to make inclusion happen.

According to Special Olympics, one of the best instruments for social inclusion is a good education. While many countries have made strides to meet the educational needs of children with intellectual disabilities, many others have not taken even the first steps. By engaging heads of state and other government officials around the world, Special Olympics will continue to advocate for increased educational funding to support the practical steps needed to fully include all students as valued members of their school communities.

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