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One School Collective Forum (CUSE)
FRANCE - August 31, 2023

In 2005, France passed a law for equal rights and opportunities, participation and citizenship of persons with disabilities. This law enshrined the principle of the right to compensation for disability, but also the obligation of schooling for all children, regardless of their disability. Eighteen years later, the result is not up to the challenge. The UN International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which France ratified in 2010, is still not respected and the regulatory texts governing the schooling of children with disabilities are below the law.

In question, the persistence of segregated schooling in schools and classes
contrary to human rights, the principles of equality in law and the dignity of
our Constitution and international law recalled by the UN; the UN calls on France to
close these institutions and provide the means for schooling in an ordinary environment
for all children, whatever their disability and with all the support
necessary to enable substantive equality.

It is in this context that we create the Collective One School so that all children can finally be educated in their school, college and high school.

Historically, the reception and support of adults and children with disabilities have
never was the will of the State, which chose to delegate this issue to institutions
medico-social. The state has therefore designed a segregated system where children and adults
disabled people are supported away from society and school.

This system contributes to the exclusion of persons with disabilities.

Moreover, the associations that manage institutions and services for people with disabilities present themselves as their representatives even as the UN denounces a conflict of interest: you cannot represent people when you financially manage the institutions and services that are their
dedicated. The only demands of management associations, supported by the State, are the opening of places in institutions. This policy prevents the deinstitutionalization and invisibilizes the demands of associations truly representative of people with disabilities, without conflict with management.

The One School Collective brings together people with disabilities, families of people with disabilities, medical professionalssocial, liberal or National Education Agency who demand respect for the fundamental right of every student to access the school system and a dignified and emancipatory education throughout his life.

We are well aware that the school system is dysfunctional, that resources are sorely lacking at all levels, and that, like all public services, an unraveling to create a lucrative educational market is underway.

However, this system has a specificity: faced with a disabled student, when the school system is dysfunctional, it is possible to turn to the institutions, an elsewhere supposedly specialized, practical where teaching time is starving. Recently, in Val-de-Reuil, the municipal police intervened at a school gate to block access to a disabled child. Purely and simply excluded from the school system, these families only have to go to institutions: IME (medical-educational institute), ITEP (educational therapeutic institute) or other.

However, these places that operate in isolation are not free of violence, and the abuse exercised out of sight is institutional. Simply not being able to grow up with your family or surrounded by your family is an abuse that nothing justifies. In general, it is mainly for students with disabilities that the lack of means is used as an argument to exclude them from school.

Apart from children from travel communities and allophone children (who do not speak French), who do not have access to school when arriving in France for several months, able-bodied children do not suffer this discrimination and continue to be educated, even when the means run out. How to justify segregating children under the pretext of lack of means rather than fighting for means for all children without exception?

The resources dedicated to specialized schools must now be devoted to schooling in ordinary classes with all the necessary accompaniments in a multidisciplinary approach for students to benefit from aids, facilities and compensation in all existing social spaces: nurseries, schools, colleges, high schools, universities, sports clubs, leisure, transport, housing, public services, etc.

Today, faced with parents who rightly demand the schooling of their disabled child, the National Education and MDPH (Departmental Houses of Disabled Persons) offer segregated spaces in schools of the Republic: SEGPA (Adapted General and Vocational Education Section) for students with school difficulties, devices against school dropout or ULIS (Localized Unit for school inclusion) devices to welcome students with disabilities in schools, but not in the same classes as able-bodied students. It is time to think of a school system where the difficulties encountered are situations of learning and serve to build in each and everyone an otherness indispensable to the emancipation of all. To live together in society, it is a matter of starting to do so first in classrooms and schools.
This new paradigm can only be beneficial for all students who do not find their place in the current school and who are sometimes considered undesirable.

Some other children with disabilities are in class in unworthy conditions: they have not received from the State the necessary aids to access learning: no AESH (AccompagnantE of students with disabilities), when its presence is necessary, No sign language materials or teachers, minimum schedule.

These shortcomings have direct consequences for children and their families and generate inequalities: parents, often single mothers, must stop working to care for their child while funding equipment or human aid hours from their personal money. In addition to validism (discrimination linked to disability), economic and social inequalities should be intolerable. Sociological studies also show the overrepresentation of the working classes in institutions and medico-social structures.

For us, members of the One School Collective, the school must massively welcome all children of this country, regardless of their social, cultural or physical, mental or psychic condition. More and more of us are aware of the existence of alternatives to segregation, but unfortunately this is not yet the case for all.

We are many and many disabled people, parents and relatives, health professionals, medico-social or education to carry the requirement of unconditional schooling. We have ideas, tools and practices to propose for this schooling. Especially because it already exists and is implemented in nearby countries. It is now up to France to apply the laws it passed at the beginning of the century as well as the International Convention it ratified. It must really respect the disabled children of this country by schooling all children within the school of the Republic.

Signatories : 

A.F., Coadministratrice Collectif AESH en action
Capucine LEMAIRE, DPO's president
Catherine PIERRE, Parent d’enfants handicapés, mère au foyer, diplômée médico-social
C.B., Personne handicapée, militante anti-validiste
Cécile MORIN, Militante anti-validiste au CLHEE, enseignante et chercheuse handicapée
Elena CHAMORRO, Militante anti-validiste au CLHEE, enseignante
G. M., Chef de service médico-social, père d’un enfant avec TSA
Jacqueline TRIGUEL, Enseignante
L.C., Travailleuse handicapée dans le médico-social, passée enfant par les institutions
LOTIS, Autrice, cofondatrice du CRIMS, personne handicapée, parent d’un enfant handicapé
Odile MAURIN, Militante de la lutte anti-validiste, présidente d’Handi-Social, personne
Renaud GUY, Enseignant spécialisé, coordonnateur ULIS en lycée professionnel
Séverine BARNOUIN, Assistante d’éducation et militante féministe
Sushina LAGOUJE, Enseignante handicapée, autrice.

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