The Environment is Disabled, Not I
Under the slogan “The Environment is Disabled, not I”, a media campaign is launched throughout the Kingdom of Bahrain to raise awareness and build positive attitudes towards the inclusion of children with disabilities into local mainstream schools. It aims to remove the inequalities children with disabilities face in their daily lives and address misconceptions.
Today there is an urgent need for awareness and action among all stakeholders in school communities and the surrounding environment to support the inclusion of children with disabilities. Children with disabilities typically attend specialized schools or do not receive a formal education. This, however, does not allow the children to grow to become active, productive citizens who have rights and responsibilities.
Education specialists and decision makers must introduce new policies and practices that encourage the necessary changes to take place at the school level. A positive, enabling environment needs to be established to encourage and promote the rights of children with disabilities to be educated in the same schools with their peers who have no disabilities.
This campaign falls under activities within UNDP’s support to the Ministry of Social Development in Bahrain to develop the National Strategy for Persons with Disabilities. It targets the general public, parents of children with disabilities, as well as peer children in schools who have no disabilities.
According to the social model of considering disabilities, it is the surrounding environment that is disabled and not the impairment of the individuals. Persons with disabilities face social exclusion due to barriers within their environment that prevent them from developing their abilities and talents.
The media campaign promotes the value and importance of the education of children with disabilities as a basic right. It advocates for inclusive education as the most appropriate and advantageous approach to the realization of social inclusion.
Campaign materials include flyers, posters, street signs, car shades, mobile advertisements on buses and cars and the preparation of a short documentary.