ACROSS the world, 72 million children do not go to school, and approximately one third of these have disabilities.
Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and that is why we are issuing an urgent call to ensure disabled children in developing countries are not left out of school.
Without an education, children miss out on lifelong benefits - better job opportunities, greater participation in their local community and improved health. Leonard Cheshire Disability believes education is a basic human right.
Lack of physical access to school buildings, inadequate facilities and discrimination are all factors that stop disabled children in developing countries from getting an education.
Children like Mohammed, from Sierra Leone, seemed to have little hope of an education, owing to the long war in that country. However, things are starting to change. Leonard Cheshire Disability, with other organisations, is creating inclusive schools, training teachers, and encouraging parents to send their disabled children to school.
Mohammed now attends his local mainstream school, and greater disability awareness among staff and students means he is benefiting from a full education.
To find out more about Leonard Cheshire Disability's international work, visit www.LCDisability.org/ international.
Chief executive Leonard Cheshire Disability