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

Grace, who uses a wheelchair, sits in her old primary school classroom.

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

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, children with disabilities, particularly girls, were less likely to be learning even if they were in school. Since 2020, 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 partners, we test and share ways to ensure inclusive education is embedded in education systems, and we call on governments and those involved in global education to include them in policy. Read our education strategy

Watch our video below to see how our Tusambilile Chapamo ‘Let’s Learn Together’ project supports children with disabilities in Zambia from early years through to primary, secondary and tertiary education.

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 with all types of disability, and particularly girls with disabilities, 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 they have the necessary equipment, receive specialist support and can learn with their peers. Read about our work in Sierra Leone
  • 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

Two school students in Zambia huddle together at a desk. One is writing, the other is looking at the work.

Sightsavers at the CIES education conference 2024

We're attending the conference in Miami on 6-14 March to share Sightsavers’ expertise, engage with the education community and explore how we can help to transform inclusive education.

March 2024
Johannes Trimmel
Sightsavers blog

The key to inclusive education is engaging organisations of people with disabilities

Collaborating with disability groups has earned the Inclusive Futures consortium a Zero Project Award in 2024.

Johannes Trimmel, February 2024
Mariana Rudge.
Sightsavers blog

How inclusive education can create a more equal and sustainable future

As learners with disabilities are disproportionately affected by global crises such as climate change, we're urging governments to build more resilient education systems for everyone.

Mariana Rudge, September 2023

View all our education reports, guides and videos

Education resources