The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

The Missing Piece of the Jigsaw in Building an Inclusive Education System: Findings from an In-School Therapy Support Project in Ireland

Emer Ring, Mary Immaculate College - University of Limerick (Ireland)


All education systems are increasingly influence by a rights-based approach to disability underpinned by the principles of equal opportunities and non-discrimination (Children’s Rights Alliance 2010). Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) identifies the core principles of a human rights-based approach as inherent dignity, individual autonomy, non-discrimination; participation; inclusion; respect for difference and acceptance of human diversity; equality of opportunity; accessibility; equality between men and women and respect for children’s evolving capacities and their right to preserve their identities (UN 2006). However, research indicates that children with special educational needs continue to be excluded from school systems globally, with research in Ireland continuing to indicate that the achievement of an inclusive education system requires support from a range of disciplines (Daly et al. 2016: Ring et al. 2021). The author led an independent evaluation of a Demonstration Project (DP), providing occupational and speech and language therapy services to 150 sites and 27,678 children across early years, primary, post-primary and special school settings In Ireland (Lynch et al. 2020). Through a multi-methodological approach incorporating surveys; interviews; document analysis and the impact of the DP was considered with reference to learning process and outcomes and identified implications for building inclusive education systems for all children. This paper reports on the challenges associated with education-therapy collaboration and the possibilities for achieving inclusive school systems identified in the research associated with increased academic engagement; increased positive classroom interactions; increased positive social interactions; and increased differentiated instruction.


Keywords: Inclusion: Exclusion: Therapeutic-Support: Special Educational Needs.


Children’s Rights Alliance (2010) United nations convention on the rights of the child, Dublin: Children’s Rights Alliance, available:


Daly, P., Ring, E., Egan, M., Fitzgerald, J., Griffin, C., Long, S., McCarthy, E., Moloney, M., 

O’Brien, T., O’Byrne, A., O’Sullivan, S., Ryan, M., Wall, E. and Madden, R. (2016). An

evaluation of education provision for children with autistic spectrum disorder in the Republic  of Ireland. Trim: National Council for Special Education, available:


Lynch, H., Ring, E., Boyle, B., Moore, A., O’Toole, C., O’Sullivan, L., Brophy, T., Frizelle, P.,

Horgan, D. and O’Sullivan, D. (2020). Evaluation of in-school and early years therapy support demonstration project. Trim: National Council for Special Education, available:


Ring, E., O’Sullivan, L., Ryan, M. and Daly, P. (Eds.) (2021) Leading inclusion from the inside out: A handbook for parents and early childhood teachers in early learning and care, primary and special school settings, Oxford: Peter Lang. 


United Nations (2006) Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, New York: United Nations, available:


Back to the list


Reserved area

Media Partners:

Click BrownWalker Press logo for the International Academic and Industry Conference Event Calendar announcing scientific, academic and industry gatherings, online events, call for papers and journal articles
Pixel - Via Luigi Lanzi 12 - 50134 Firenze (FI) - VAT IT 05118710481
    Copyright © 2024 - All rights reserved

Privacy Policy