Common Inclusive Language 

Using a common inclusive language in School


ICF (International  Classification of Functionning, Disability and Health, WHO 2005) is a common language to describe the situation of a person with a health problem - in line with strategies of the UN Convention on the Right of PwD. In most EU27 ICF is foreseen as a main heurism as it increases social inclusion and international/ transsectoral comparability and focuses on participation including parents and pupils within meaningful activities.

Within a 2nd step ICF supports assessment processes, as abilities are connected with typical age, psychological tests and school curricula.

Using ICF in school requires new professionalism of teachers to know about ICF, to address diversity, create synergies and to match needs with participative service provision to avoid exclusion and overboarding school/social budgets. Inclusion and social cohesion is increased defining disability as an interaction between person and environment: peers understand what a PwD is ABLE to do.



1. Bridging ICF and Inclusion

“Common inclusive language” bridges inclusive schools with other sectors as in latter ICF is already used or trained. With exception of a working group in AT for special educators ICF however is unknown in school settings. Previous EU ICF-projects focused on awareness rising and training modules for preschool (  and medical care (

To exploit existing resources

  • (Training) tools are disseminated towards school needs;
  • ICT tools are matched to tests used by school psychology and
  • Preliminary necessary ICF easy reading-versions are exploited towards use for parents and pupils.


2. Using synergies

In EU27 addressing disadvantaged pupils is about full participation, equality, setting goals, mutual understanding and coordination (European Agency). Diverse codes (e.g. parents, educators, psychologists, MDs) tend to create barriers including collaboration toward private sectors (EU Agency report 05/10). A common language facilitates synergies and higher efficiency.

Inclusive education is a transnational European topic to reach equity and social cohesion


3. Exploit train-the-trainer certification processes for participating professionals

Within certification tools towards ICF-trainer certification (to become a certified ICF-trainer) were initiated. This tool is used within "Common language" ensuring that trained teacher/school psychologists also can become trainer in terms of sustainable capacity building.



“Common inclusive language” will run from September 1, 2018 until August 31, 2021.

The project is carried out by 10 partners from 4 European countries under the coordination of Dr. Manfred Pretis. (See section "Partners" for more details.)



The outcomes include the following products:

  • Briefing Packs "ICF in School"
  • Adapted ICF code descriptors for parents "Let's use the same language"
  • Self-evaluation tool for pupils"Let me be part of the team"
  • IT-supported "Test Translator" Tool for school psychologists

(See section "Outcomes" for more details!)




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