Every person with a disability has the right
to study in a mainstream school.

The Rodrigo Mendes Institute (IRM) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to collaborate so that every person with a disability has a first-rate education in a mainstream school. The Institute's projects follow an architecture based on 3 pillars:

  • Training

    Continuing education for educators, school managers and public officials from education departments to support them in the implementation of public policies and pedagogical practices of inclusive education.

  • Mobilization

    Production of knowledge about best practices of inclusive education focused on the provision of references to educators through the DIVERSA platform and communication strategies.

  • Consultancy

    Consulting and technical support activities on diversity and inclusion for educational networks (public and private), partners, governments and international organizations.

IRM programs are implemented through established partnerships with organizations from diverse sectors. Internationally, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the J.P. Morgan bank, the FC Barcelona Foundation and the Brazil Foundation deserve special mention.


DIVERSA is an internet platform about inclusive education best practices. It offers references and knowledge for teachers, principals, public policy managers and families of persons with disabilities. DIVERSA was created in 2011 by the Rodrigo Mendes Institute with the support of the Brazilian Ministry of Education and other organizations committed to the promotion of equality. This platform offers articles, experience reports, accessible pedagogical materials and case studies on successful experiences in all regions of Brazil, at different levels of education, as well as in other countries, such as the United States, France, Denmark and Argentina.

Open Doors to Inclusion

The “Open Doors to Inclusion” is a teacher training program focused on reducing the exclusion of children and teenagers with disabilities through sport and physical education activities in mainstream schools. It was created in 2012 by a partnership between the Rodrigo Mendes Institute, UNICEF and the Barcelona Foundation. The project offers teacher training to educators, school principals and members of education secretaries from different regions of Brazil. The strategy is to support them on how to change the guidelines followed by the physical education classes so that every student with a disability can participate and develop his or her full potential.

IRM Impacts 2011-2019


  • 265.000 impacted students
  • 3.100 certified educators
  • 20 Brazilian states

This impact will grow substantially from 2019 onwards with the launch of its first distance learning training course developed in partnership with UNICEF, which has received more than 30.000 entries from all Brazilian states.


  • 49.000 participants in lectures
  • 3 millions DIVERSA visitors

Since 2015, the IRM has supported the Angolan Ministry of Education in the creation of a National Policy on Inclusive Education. This Policy was signed by the Angolan president in 2017 and is in the implementation phase. This project will impact hundreds of thousands of school-aged children and adolescents.

"We dream of educational networks and schools that offer children and adolescents with disabilities the opportunity to achieve their best as human beings. To gain autonomy through education."

Rodrigo Hübner Mendes Founder of IRM