The Constitution of the Republic of Armenia states that everyone has the rights to education (Article 39). The execution of this right is the main guarantee of the formation, development and future employment of an individual. Children with disabilities living in Armenia, however, do not have the opportunity to execute their right to education due to inaccessibility of environment, lack of inclusive educational processes, discriminatory attitudes of teachers and school administrations, lack of relevant specialists (speech and occupational therapists, psychologists, sign-language interpreters, etc.) and other factors.
Definite progress has been made in the sphere of Technical-Vocational Education. In the framework of the USAID-funded Livelihood Improvement through Fostered Employment (LIFE) program implemented by Save the Children, agreements with top TVET institutions have been reached, due to which persons with disabilities now have the opportunity to continue their education in TVET institutions on free-of-charge basis and receive student stipends. As a result, 53 young persons with disabilities have entered TVET institutions in 2012.
***The photos have been created in the framework of the USAID-funded Livelihood Improvement through Fostered Employment (LIFE) program, due to which numerous persons with disabilities (including those in the photos) have started their education at top Armenian Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.
According to the 2012 Report on the issues of persons with disabilities in Armenia, 8045 children with disabilities live in Armenia, 1700 of them study in inclusive schools and 2700 in special education institutions. According to official data, there are 81 inclusive schools in Armenia. However, even in those schools, necessary conditions (accessible environment, educational materials in alternative formats, relevant specialists, etc.) for implementation of inclusive education are not available. Especially apparent are the lack of proper conditions for education of children with hearing and vision impairments: majority of children with such impairments are confined to studying in special educational institutions.
Most children with special educational needs, including those with antisocial behaviour, study in 24 Special Schools, which operate as either Boarding schools or extended-day schools for children with both physical and mental disabilities.
The situation in terms of higher education is rather
ambiguous. The legislation of Armenia grants persons with disabilities of the 1st and 2nd groups the right to obtain full scholarships
when entering public universities. Yet, only a few students with disabilities can take advantage of this, because the universities
are absolutely inaccessible for people with different
physical impairments. Moreover, most persons with disabilities
have not got even secondary education as a result
of the above-mentioned reasons, and, naturally they cannot
enter universities. Thus, the vast majority of persons with disabilities don't have higher education.