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part iii achieving the change - Disability Monitor Initiative

part iii achieving the change - Disability Monitor Initiative

Beyond

Beyond De-institutionalisation: The Unsteady Transition towards an Enabling System in South East EuropeACHIEVING THE CHANGE: KEY STEPS AND SHARED RESPONSIBILITIESBOX 28The promotion of inclusive education initiative in South East Europe: a comprehensiveapproach to raise awareness and change representations of people with disabilitiesThe Associations of Students with Disabilities in Moldova, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro joinedtogether to take a regional approach to promote inclusive education. The initiative began in December2003. Using both information and research along with media campaigns is an excellent way to approachchanging the dominant perceptions of disability. In addition, the regional approach to promoting newideas has an added value as it facilitates sharing experiences and resources in the process of shiftingthe paradigm. The project has several phases:1. Phase one: gathering information and research• The project began with a wide-scale survey on students with disabilities attending university basedon interviews with students themselves in all three countries,• An analysis of legislation related to education was made in all three countries using a team oflawyers with disabilities.2. Phase two: media campaigns• A media campaign was organised to promote the results of the survey to the public as well as topolicy-makers,• The associations created a list of amendments and propositions for changing legislation based onthe legal analysis and presented to various ministries.3. Phase three: lobbying• Lobbying activities were carried out within the ministries in all three countries based on the findingsand research that was gathered,• Lobbying university administrations was carried out using the findings in the surveys tocommunicate their demands.ConclusionWhile it is too early to tell what impact this initiative has had, the approach used to change minds andraise awareness around the inclusive paradigm is multifaceted using information on the situation forstudents with disabilities as well as legal analysis on education to convey the message.Source: Interview with the Association for Disabled Students, Serbia, Belgrade, October 2004.111

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