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The experience of disability in schools

Issue n°92, April 2023

An issue coordinated by: Abdeljalil Akkari, Jean-Claude Kalubi.

The experience of disability in schools has been marked by a series of paradoxes and tensions over the past few decades. How does it vary according to the type of disability or national and sociocultural contexts? How does it fare in the face of collective ignorance? How can the actual practices implemented by schools, families and other partners promote objectives of integration at school and social inclusion? What language should be used? What to expect, in terms of practical arrangements and forms of support for the actors involved?


The articles in this special issue set out to examine education policies and the practices of teachers, stakeholders and professionals in eight education systems spread over four continents: Bulgaria, Canada, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Italy, France, Japan, Mexico and Zambia.

These different case studies, alongside an interview with a leader of Humanity & Inclusion NGO (formerly Handicap International) and a bibliography, were chosen with a view to contribute to our thinking about what effective and tailored forms of support can be offered to students living with a disability.

Making schooling a positive experience for children and young people with disabilities is still a bumpy road in many contexts. All the authors in the dossier draw our attention to the importance of the socio-educational environment, which makes it possible or not for each child to reach their potential.


Case studies: Bulgaria, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Italy, France, Japan, Mexico and Zambia.



  • Abdeljalil Akkari is a professor and the director of the research group on international and comparative education at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Jean-Claude Kalubi, director of the department for school and social adaptation at the University of Sherbrooke (Canada).