Watch our speech at the UN Transforming Education Summit

On September 17, 2022, Daniela Gissara, Assistant Director of International Partnerships, Perkins School for the Blind, spoke at the United Nations Transforming Education Summit as part of the Solutions Day.

Daniela Gissara sits at conference table at the United Nations general assembly transforming education summit and speaks into a microphone.

The Transforming Education Summit

The Transforming Education Summit provides a unique opportunity to elevate education to the top of the global political agenda and to mobilize action, ambition, solidarity and solutions to recover pandemic-related learning losses and sow the seeds to transform education in a rapidly changing world.

Unfortunately, the video recording does not have closed captioning. However, we did add a transcript of Daniela Gissara’s speech below for all who need it.

Daniela’s Speech transcript

“I’m going to give my perspective by sharing a story with all of you about a fellow teacher, Angie. She is a young and enthusiastic teacher from a public, inclusive school in Yucatan, Mexico.

Angie is lucky. The principal of her school and the secretary of education in her state believe children with disabilities deserve all the support they need to learn. Angie knows that for children

With disabilities, the learning that happens at home is as important as the learning that happens in the classroom. So when Angie struggles to make mealtime at school a meaningful teaching and learning experience for her young student with a disability, she decides to do a home visit.

In this home, in a rural area, Angie learns that the family loves the child so much but during mealtime there are no interactions between the adults and the child. She learns that it’s about getting the child fed and minimizing the mess. So there are no opportunities for Angie’s student to communicate and to make choices. So after these home visits, Angie decides to start working side by side with the family so mealtime both at home and at school becomes a meaningful learning opportunity.

I am from Argentina and I work for Perkins School the Blind. I belong to a community of teachers like Angie, from all around the world, stretching back one hundred years. We, the teachers, we are working every day to close the gap between exclusion and quality, inclusive education. We are making sure that education is accessible to each and every child, each and every day. And we’re doing this, we’re closing this gap just because we believe that every child can learn. So my humble call to action today is for you all and for all of us to believe that every child can learn. To believe that we teachers need more support to help children with disabilities learn. So then together we can act to act to build a world where everyone belongs.”

Final thoughts on the Transforming Education Summit

We are incredibly humbled to have had this opportunity to speak at the UN general assembly. While there is still more work to do, it was empowering to hear the other presenters talk about their experiences. We will continue to demand Disability inclusion and encourage our community to continue the hard work to make it a reality for the 240 million children with disabilities.