Salamanca Statement


Adopted by the World Conference on Special Needs Education:
Access and Quality Salamanca, Spain, 7-10 June 1994

More than 300 participants representing 92 governments and 25 international organizations met in Salamanca, Spain in June 1994 to further the aim of Education for All by considering what basic policy changes are needed to promote inclusive education, so that schools can serve all children, particularly those with special educational needs.

Organized by the Government of Spain and UNESCO, the Conference adopted the Salamanca Statement on Principles, Policy and Practice in Special Needs Education and a Framework for Action.

These two documents are important tools for efforts to make sure schools work better and to fulfill the principle of Education for All. They are printed in a single publication published by UNESCO. Get hold of a copy from the UNESCO office in your country or from the address at the bottom of this page. When you are familiar with its contents, use the two documents to lobby your government for improvements in the education of disabled children and for inclusive education policies.

The Salamanca Statement says that:

  • every child has a basic right to education
  • every child has unique characteristics, interests, abilities and learning needs
  • education services should take into account these diverse characteristics and needs
  • those with special educational needs must have access to regular schools
  • regular schools with an inclusive ethos are the most effective way to combat discriminatory attitudes, create welcoming and inclusive communities and achieve education for all
  • such schools provide effective education to the majority of children, improve efficiency and cost- effectiveness.
  • The Salamanca Statement asks governments to:
  • give the highest priority to making education systems inclusive
  • adopt the principle of inclusive education as a matter of law or policy
  • develop demonstration projects
  • encourage exchanges with countries which have experience of inclusion
  • set up ways to plan, monitor and evaluate educational provision for children and adults
  • encourage and make easy the participation of parents and organizations of disabled people
  • invest in early identification and intervention strategies
  • invest in the vocational aspects of inclusive education
  • make sure there are adequate teacher education programs

The Framework for Action outlines new thinking on special needs education and guidelines for action at national, regional and international levels. Among the guidelines for national action are:

  • Policy and organization
  • School factors
  • Recruitment and training of educational personnel
  • External support services
  • Priority areas
  • Community perspectives
  • Resource requirements

The Salamanca Statement and Framework For Action,
, 1994. Ref: ED-94/WS/l 8.

For further information: UNESCO, Special Education, Division of Basic Education,
7 place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07-5P, France. Fax: +33 1 40 65 94 05.