Inclusion in an International Perspective: Introduction
On approaching the term "inclusion" from an international perspective, the diversity of groups that are meant to be included soon emerges. In Germany, the inclusion of people with disabilities into mainstream education is focused while in other countries, social, economic or cultural inclusion is highlighted in the context of different groups of individuals that are typically regarded as being excluded from education. Different dimensions of inclusion (societal scope / excluded groups) are evident in the following statement "In the past few decades "disability" has climbed the academic ladder. Just as race, class and gender itnow is being considered an advantageous instrument for critically exploring a wide range of societal issues." (as found in the introduction on a website on "Disability History Lecture Series" at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium). Likewise, the discourse on inclusion occasionally reflects problems that are specific to individual countries or regions.
Similar to "disability", the term "inclusion" is experiencing a period of interest in academia - which is easily discernible from the number of publications on the topic.
To narrow down the scope of our dossier, we focussed on inclusion in the field of disability. Nevertheless, the boundaries between different definitions of inclusion are fluid. Especially international organisations like the UN or UNESCO stand for a rather broad definition of inclusion in all spheres of society and for all groups of persons.
The webdossier is ordered by continents. So far, it provides information on international and European, North and Central American as well as African issues. South America, Asia, and Oceania will be added in the months to follow. The chapters for each continent are then sorted by type of resource (websites of organisations, networks, policy documents, reports, journals, conferences, ...).
Additionally, we provide information on inclusion in some individual countries.