• We often hear teachers and families talking about inclusion as if it were a policy that schools can choose to adopt or reject. Special education is not a program or a place, and inclusive schooling is not a policy that schools can dismiss outright. Since 1975, federal courts have clarified the intent of the law in favor of the inclusion of students with disabilities in general education. A student with a disability should be educated in the school he or she would attend if not identified as having a disability. The school must devise an individualized education program that provides the learner with the supports and services that the student needs to receive an education in the least restrictive environment possible. The standard for denying a student access to inclusion is high… If schools can successfully educate a student with disabilities in general education settings with peers who do not have disabilities, then the student's school must provide that experience.
Woman sitting
Photo courtesy William Bronston, M.D