Access to Education for Children with Severe to Profound Intellectual Disability in South Africa: The Potential and Limits of Social Action

  • Tessa WoodEmail author
  • Fatima Essop
  • Brian Watermeyer
  • Judith McKenzie


The question of education for children with severe to profound intellectual disability (ID) is an important one if we wish to consider the scope of citizenship issues for disabled people in the Global South. In this chapter, we present a case study of activism around questions of access to education for this excluded group. The work took place in South Africa with its complex political history but with a contemporary policy commitment to inclusion. We note the challenges and the successes and failures of this engagement, and we suggest that in this context, as elsewhere, the role of civil society organisations in upholding the rights of disabled people should not diminish over time.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tessa Wood
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fatima Essop
    • 2
  • Brian Watermeyer
    • 3
  • Judith McKenzie
    • 3
  1. 1.Western Cape Forum for Intellectual DisabilityCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.De Heide Children’s Special Care CentreWestern CapeSouth Africa
  3. 3.Division of Disability Studies, Department of Health and Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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