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Online course

Education for All: Disability, Diversity and Inclusion

Join this free online course to find out how inclusive education can work, especially where resources are limited.


  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate


  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course

Find out more

Education for All: Disability, Diversity and Inclusion

Why join the course?

Have you or a family member ever been excluded from any learning, social, or other activity - at work, at school or socially? You may remember how painful this experience was. Millions of children around the world are excluded from access to education because of a disability - their exclusion robs them of their potential and diminishes our society.

Understand inclusive education and disability

Inclusive education is about addressing barriers to learning and participation and transforming school communities to allow them to really benefit from inclusion. Although inclusive education is about all forms of diversity, on this course you learn specifically about disability - as it is often an aspect of diversity that is neglected.

Find out how to create an inclusive environment

Access to education for children with disabilities has been a challenge in many countries, with problems ranging from lack of resources, discriminatory policies, cultural and social prejudice, as well as the lack of practical support for educators and parents.

This course aims to help teachers, other professionals and parents to tackle inclusion, in a practical way, in their own environment. Over six weeks, we will look at the background of disability and strategies for creating an enabling environment in the school and community.

You will learn in a variety of ways, from short video lectures, readings and discussions, to online quizzes. Each will introduce different perspectives in the inclusive education framework and help you to apply inclusive education in your own context.

Learn from people with experience of disability

From challenging perceptions of disability to everyday classroom practices, this course will offer you insights from a range of people who have worked with disabled children - parents, teachers, facilitators, occupational and allied therapists and school principals.

You will also learn from established educators. Dr Judith McKenzie is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Cape Town who has taught and published extensively on disability and inclusive education; she has worked in rural areas focusing on community based and interdisciplinary efforts to address disability, exclusion and poverty.

Chioma Ohajunwa has a B.Ed in Special Education and Language Arts and an MPhil in Disability Studies and has worked in various contexts ranging from educare for disabled children in Nigeria and Liberia, to disabilities studies in South African higher education.

In the words of American educator, Dr Kevin Maxwell, “Our job is to teach the kids we have. Not the ones we would like to have. Not the ones we used to have. Those we have right now…all of them.” This course will help you teach all of our children, right now.

Course outline:

● Week 1 - Why inclusion?
● Week 2 - Education begins at home
● Week 3 - Creating an inclusive school
● Week 4 - Partnerships for success
● Week 5 - Changing classroom practices
● Week 6 - Building networks

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 21 secondsWhen we think about education for all. What is inclusion? Why discuss it? Inclusion is important because it implies an acceptance and a celebration of human diversity. It is about all of us. We need to contribute and participate and know that we’re making a difference in our communities and in the lives of others. It is through inclusion that we achieve education for all children in all their diversity. In this course we’ll focus on a particular aspect of diversity which is disability. We’ll learn more about how our educational systems can adjust to welcome children with disabilities into schools and we'll also look at how the student can be supported to be, to participate, and to belong.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 seconds When my son was born we were told that he had a genetic syndrome, and words like ‘mental retardation’, ‘developmental delay’ were thrown at us. And this meant all our dreams for his future were shattered. And we had no idea what education would look like for him. But as he started growing and as we started hearing about what the options were, this idea of inclusion really appeal to us. The idea that Matt could be accepted for who he was in a every day government school where he could learn alongside the children from the community, and not segregated to a school for children with special needs.

Skip to 1 minute and 43 secondsYou do not have to be a well resourced school to make inclusion happen. The three main resources you actually need are passion, commitment, and cooperation. What is amazing about inclusion is that when it is successful, it is beneficial to everyone who participated in making it happen. So this is what the course is about. We come together to engage and to explore proven ways of making inclusion happen, and in this way we further the goal of education for all.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

Who is the course for?

The course is aimed at teachers, other professionals and parents interested in developing inclusive education.

If you are part of a community wanting to develop inclusive education in a school, you could form a group to support each other’s learning (either virtual or physical). Use this course to try out some of the strategies suggested for developing an inclusive education environment and we will provide additional resources for those wanting to implement inclusive education principles and practices.

Who will you learn with?

Judith McKenzie

Judith is a lecturer and researcher in Disability Studies at the University of Cape Town. She has worked in rural areas focusing particularly on community based and interdisciplinary projects.

Chioma Ohajunwa

Chioma has a B.Ed in Special Education, MPhil in Disability Studies and is currently working on her PhD. Chioma has worked in the disability field in Nigeria, Liberia and South Africa

Who developed the course?

The University of Cape Town is one of the leading higher education and research institutions on the African continent and has a tradition of academic excellence that is respected worldwide.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate

You can buy a Statement of Participation for this course — a personalised certificate in both digital and printed formats, to celebrate taking part.

£24.00 + shipping

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.