Disability, human rights and
education in Romania
Michele Moore and Karen Dunn
This chapter is deeply informed by the voice of Oana Benga,
Catedra de Psihologie, University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
This chapter is based on recent visits to look at the situations of disabled and vulnerable children living in two institutions in Romania. The complexity of education and human rights issues is enormous. Some children receive 'home-school' provision and others 'home-hospital'. The latter have no entitlement to education. The majority are excluded not only from the wider community, but also from family life, and not always for reasons of choice. The voice of the Romanian contributor affirms that in a climate where the voices of all major stakeholders have previously been omitted or silenced in the policies and practices that shape their entitlements, those who work with disabled children and their families would welcome change. An interesting question for the post-communist era is whether the voices of disabled people, their families and representative agencies will be influential in bringing about a more inclusive system of rights-based education.
This chapter is based on reflections on disability, human rights and education made in two institutions in Romania. The first institution is for approximately 600 children, most of whom are without family connections in Lugoj, a medium-size town 63 kilometres from Timişoara and close to the border with Serbia. Children here are classified into categories, which determine degree of entitlement to education. Children placed in the category of 'home-hospital' do not receive education. The school director told us, 'You have to know that