We believe every child has the right to education. That’s why we’re part of the global movement to promote inclusive education for children with disabilities, and we work with partners to transform education systems.

A young student in Nigeria smiles in the classroom.

There are 240 million children with disabilities around the world, according to data from Unicef.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, children with disabilities were less likely to be learning even if they were in school. Since the start of the pandemic, school closures have led to a greater learning crisis, creating increased exclusion, marginalisation and poverty for children with disabilities and a growing digital divide.

Through our education work, we’ve shown that change is possible: when education systems are inclusive, children with disabilities can not only access school, but can learn alongside their peers and thrive.

Together with our global partners, we test and share ways to ensure inclusive education is embedded in education systems, and we call on national governments and those involved in global education to include them in policy.
Find out more in our education strategy

A teacher in Nigeria outs her arm on a student's shoulders as they stand at the blackboard.

Transforming inclusive education

In Nigeria and Kenya, two innovative education projects are enabling children with disabilities to reach their potential.

Read the story

We’re proud to be part of these global education networks

British Expertise International logo.
Basic Education Coalition logo.
Global Campaign for Education logo.
International Disability and Development Consortium logo.
PAL Network logo.
United Nations Girls Education Initiative logo.

Our education work

  • We work with schools, communities, governments and organisations of people with disabilities to ensure children are able to learn alongside their peers in pre-school, through to primary and secondary school.
  • We make schools more inclusive for children with disabilities by ensuring lessons are stimulating and classrooms are as accessible as possible, and we make sure sure they have the necessary equipment, receive specialist support and can learn with their peers.
  • We promote inclusive education throughout communities: we encourage parents to play an active part: ‘mothers’ clubs’ have been set up in Sierra Leone to make school uniforms for students with disabilities, and community members in Malawi help young children to travel to pre-school using adapted bicycles.
  • We work with governments to improve education systems. We support schools to develop teacher training; we help ministries of education collect data on children with disabilities enrolled in their schools; and we promote joined-up services by linking health and social services with schools and families.
  • We work with organisations of people with disabilities and groups across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to ensure people with disabilities have a meaningful say in education decision-making.

Around the world

We’re looking at how children who are deafblind can use assistive technology to communicate.

We’re exploring how children with complex needs can be included in schools and learn with others.

West Africa
Our research into why girls with disabilities are less likely to go to school is helping us develop strategies to tackle it.

Visit our research centre

More about education

Veronica Stapleton.
Sightsavers blog

Making assessments more accessible for children with disabilities

How an evaluation tool to assess children’s development has been adapted for young children with disabilities in Kenya.

Veronica Stapleton, February 2023
A young boy sits at a desk in a classroom, writing in an exercise book. A teacher stands next to him offering guidance.
Sightsavers blog

On data and disability: piloting the Child Functioning Module in Nigerian schools

Sightsavers’ Liesbeth Roolvink and Gillian Mackay share learnings from the SMILE project in Nigeria, where a new questionnaire is being used in schools to assess children’s educational needs.

Sightsavers, February 2023

Sightsavers at the CIES global education conference

In February 2023, Sightsavers will present at the Comparative and International Education Society conference in Washington DC.

February 2023

View all our education reports, guides and videos

Education resources