NISE was established as an affiliated institution (National Institute of Special Education) of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture in 1971 to contribute to the improvement and development of education for children with disabilities in Japan. In 2001, NISE was reestablished as an independent administrative agency, and in 2007 was renamed National Institute of Special Needs Education, the name which it still holds today.
In April 2007, “special education” was reestablished as “special needs education” as a result of partial revisions made to the School Education Act in 2006 concerning the education of children with disabilities. In addition to children studying at schools for special needs education, children studying in classes for special needs education and children receiving support in resource room, these revisions also affected students such as children with developmental disabilities studying in regular classes in elementary, lower secondary, and other schools.
Also, the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities became an issue after its signing in 2007. A series of legislative reforms was introduced for the development of an inclusive education system, in which children with and without disabilities study together, aimed at allowing each child to fully demonstrate their abilities. In 2012, the Subdivision on Primary and Secondary Education of the Central Council for Education created a report and after such efforts, Japan ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in January 2014. Among these circumstances, the preparation of fundamental environments for the development of an inclusive education system has been under way. It is necessary to work at the development of an inclusive education system based on the real conditions of each local community by further promoting special needs education in the future.
With the fourth midterm phase starting in 2016, while aiming to further enhance its existing research activities, teacher training, and information dissemination activities, NISE will establish the new Center for Promoting Inclusive Education System which will conduct practical research in local communities aimed at the development of an inclusive education system, provide information within Japan and abroad, and support for educational counseling in order to strongly support the efforts of local communities and schools.
Furthermore, in order to further promote special needs education, we would like to aim at further enhancing our activities by working towards cooperation with related organizations.
I conclude this message with a wish to request the cooperation and support of all people involved in this effort, including the general public.
President of the National Institute of Special Needs Education