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About the congress


In the process of building an inclusive and equal society, education plays a fundamental role. The human right to education is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, among other International Human Rights Treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which implies considering persons with disabilities as subjects of law and not as mere social beneficiaries. According to UNESCO, the human right to education is the human right to inclusive education.

  • Paraninfo

  • Auditorium

  • Small room

  • Working Group room

Paulo Freire's thought has taught us that education is truly a practice of freedom. However, a person cannot have freedom in any of its dimensions (moral, political and legal), if education is not inclusive and if education is not of quality. For all people to have that freedom and autonomy, education must be guarantee on an equal basis with other persons and without restriction.

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) recognizes the right to education for all people as a human right and, to achieve its full exercise, the ICESCR establishes, among other issues, that higher education must be accessible to all people, based on their abilities, by whatever means are appropriate. In this same sense, the CRPD states that States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels in order to realize this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity.

Inclusive education implies access, permanence and opportunities for progress on equal terms. It also includes developments of accessible methodologies and content, taking into account persons with disabilities as part of human diversity. Research, resources and tools are required for the process of inclusive education in order to achieve the full effectiveness of this right.

Although there has been remarkable progress in legislation and public policies related to inclusive education, structural and awareness changes are still necessary to move forward, especially in the guarantees to higher education. Sufficient evidence indicates that students with disabilities live the transition stage towards University with insecurity, dropping out of studies and having barriers in their decision-making process. In this regard, the university is not exempt from the comprehensive approach that it has to address in its structure and management. In this sense, the CRPD Committee has established that “authorities at all levels must have the capacity, commitment and resources to implement the laws, policies and programs in place to support inclusive education.”

Training, research and awareness raising are essential to make a political will even more strongly. ONCE Foundation through their “Program Management with Universities and Talent Promotion”, hosted one of the biggest conferences in the world regarding university and disability. After the success of the previous conferences, we believe we must share ideas, good practices and debates around inclusive education in the university. It pretends to make new networks, share good practices and move towards an equal society with social justice for all persons, including persons with disabilities. Leaders from the global disability rights movement, international experts, academics, research staff, policy makers and students with disabilities will invite participants to think, in inclusive terms, which is the best way to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda.

The core focus this year will be Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particularly SDG 4 (inclusive and equitable quality education), whose third and fifth targets are relevant as they seek, respectively, to ensure equal access to education and provide visibility and specificity to persons with disabilities, among other social groups in vulnerable situations.

It will also collect the witness of previous editions, being a meeting place to knit new networks, develop strategies and imitate good practices that allow us to work progressively on inclusive universities, being ready to meet the challenges proposed by International Human Rights Treaties and the SDGs together with the 2030 Agenda.

The participants include persons with disabilities, lecturers, pedagogues, educators, civil society groups of persons with disabilities as well as advocates for disability and education law reform, lawyers, policy makers, policy analysts and anyone interested in making education effective as a human right for all persons, without discrimination and on equal basis.

We are supported by the Spanish Committee of Representatives of Persons with Disabilities (CERMI), the Royal Board on Disability, the Conference of Principals of Spanish Universities (CRUE), Ministry of Universities, Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, Organization of Ibero-American States and, Universia Foundation.




The main objective of the Congress is to open a debate of proposals and ideas on the best paths for an inclusive education on university within the framework of the SDGs and 2030 Agenda. Especially considering targets 4.3 and 4.5, regarding to equal access and elimination of disparities and, the target 4.a, building and adapting accessible, diverse and inclusive environments.

In harmony with the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda and, considering the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, this Conference pretends to discuss the latest educational innovations at the university, discussing experiences and good practices in the field on an international level. At the same time, the most recent and relevant studies and research on the right and access to education in inclusive terms will be presented.