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Inclusive education for deaf children and teenagers (72%) from vulnerable contexts, who share with hearing ones (28%) in the same classrooms

Inverse inclusion

location_on Colombia
At ICAL we have developed an education model called “inverse inclusion”. We bring formal education to low-income deaf and non-deaf children and teenagers in an environment where the first group represents the majority (72%). We use ICTs and face-to-face classes to support sign language and oralism learning; supporting their life-project construction and human development.
Diana Agudelo Rojas, Projects leader
We tackle social traditional barriers to support the construction of worthy life projects for each student; no matter socioeconomic origin neither physical condition. We focus on real social inclusion

Diana Agudelo Rojas, Projects leader


HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.
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Innovation Overview

Target Group
2 700
Updated on October 14th, 2021
about the innovation

ICAL Foundation and the Inverse inclusion education model

We are a non-profit organization with almost 60 years of history, working for the inclusion and well-being of people with hearing disabilities in Colombia. Our mission is to provide quality care and a rights-based approach to the hearing-impaired population and their families, through specialized Health and Comprehensive Training services that strengthen the construction of worthy life projects. 

We have developed our own education model called inverse inclusion. It brings together students with hearing disabilities and some cognitive ones with students with no disabilities. This is possible at our Montessori kindergarten, elementary and high school, located in the Chia municipality, Colombia. We have children aged 3 to 17 years old from more than 10 municipalities of the Cundinamarca region.  

In addition, as part of the model, we count with a program for extra-age students (18 to 25 years old) called Sketching my Future, which promotes entrepreneurial tools and knowledge for disabled students. They develop productive skills to structure their own family entrepreneurship and life project. 

We have found this model not only as really inclusive and socially cohesive, but as one that successfully contributes in developing all the students’ 21-century skills. We have evidence from our graduated students during the last 10 years, showing positive occupation rates and personal development indicators; compared to the national rates from people with their same hearing conditions.


Achievements & Awards

June 2021
Honor mention from the Colombian Presidential Counseling for people with disabilities for our inclusive education model
December 2020
Winners of the Social Value Prize from the Fundación Cepsa (Spain). For the "Strengthening of soft and technological skills of young students for challenging scenarios" initiative
October 2020
Innovation page created on
October 2020
Shortlisted by the Reimagine Education Awards in the category Best Distributed Program for Nurturing 21st-Century Skills

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