Inclusion

 

 

Here educators may find resources and information about the concept of inclusion. Inclusion is when students with disabilities or mental disorders work side by side in the classroom with students who do not have any disabilities. 

 

 

 

What is inclusion?

            A philosophy that brings students, families, educators, and community members together to create schools and other social institutions based on acceptance, belonging, and community (Bloom, Perlmutter, & Burrell, 1999).

            It seeks to establish collaborative, supportive, and nurturing communities of learners that are based on giving all students the services and accommodations they need to learn, as well as respecting and learning from each other's individual differences.

            It is designed to alter the educational system so that it is more able to accommodate and respond to the needs of all students.

What are the principles of inclusion?

            Diversity - placing students together in a general education classroom regardless of their learning ability, race, linguistic ability, economic status, gender, learning style, ethnicity, cultural background, religion, family structure, and sexual orientation.

            Individual Needs - sensitivity to and acceptance of individual needs in a classroom where students are valued as individuals capable of learning and contributing to society and each learning from each other's similarities and differences

            Reflective Practice - educators are flexible, responsive and modify their attitudes, teaching and classroom management practices to accommodate individual needs and ensure that all students' needs are met

            Collaboration - working together to share resources, responsibilities, skills, decisions, and advocacy for the benefit of the student

What does inclusion mean for students?

            Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

            Requires schools to educate students with disabilities as much as possible with their peers who do not have disabilities

Determined individually, based on the student's educational needs rather than the student's disability

Students can be shifted to self-contained special education classes, specialized schools, and residential programs only when their school performance indicates that even with supplementary aids and services, they cannot be educated satisfactorily in a general education classroom

Principle of natural proportions, according to which the ratio of students with and without disabilities in a classroom reflects the ratio of the larger population

Normalization

Seeks to provide social interactions and experiences that parallel those of society to adults and children with disabilities

Educational, housing, employment, social, and leisure opportunities for individuals with disabilities should resemble as closely as possible the opportunities and activities enjoyed by their peers who are not disabled

De-Institutionalization

Up to very recently, individuals with disabilities were feared, ridiculed, abandoned, or placed in institutions that isolated them from the general public

Because of the terrible conditions found in many institutions, as well as a growing awareness of the negative effects of institutionalization, smaller, community-based independent living arrangements were developed for individuals with disabilities

What are the laws about inclusion?

            Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - used to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of disability

            IDEA -  "Each State must establish procedures to assure that, to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilitie...are educated with children who are not disabled, and that special education, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular education environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily." 20 U.S.C 1412 (5) (B).

1997 Amendments to IDEA -  defines "aids, services, and other supports that are provided in regular education classes or other related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with non-disabled children to the maximum extent appropriate."

The How To's of Inclusion

1. Collaboration, Collaboration, Collaboration!

            What is it?

            Collaboration is working with other professionals and parents, and seeking out resources together to help the student benefit to his or her fullest in an educational environment within the inclusive classroom.

            Who collaborates?

            Teachers

            Special Education Teachers

            Specialists

            Counselors

            Parents

            Why collaborate?

            Students need to be held to the same standards when they are in the classroom, in another room in the building or at home.  Adults need to communicate to ensure that IEP goals are met in all settings.

2. It is All in the Attitude

            Believe the student can succeed

            Be committed to accept the responsibilities of the learning outcomes of students with disabilities

            The teacher and other students have to be prepared to receive a student with disabilities

            Parents need to be informed and supporting of the goals

            Everyone needs to be committed to collaboration

3. Adaptation, be willing to adapt

            Size: adapt the number of items

            Time: extend the allotted time for learning tasks

            Level of Support: increase personal assistance

            Input: adapt how instruction is delivered

            Difficulty: adapt required skill level

            Output: adapt how the student can respond to the instruction

            Participation: adapt extend of active involvement in task

            Alternate Goals: adapt outcome expectations with same materials

            Substitute Curriculum: provide different materials and instructions to meet individual

 

 

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What is it?

Inclusion:

Inclusion is a term, which expresses commitment to educate each child, to the maximum extent appropriate, in the school and classroom he or she would otherwise attend. It involves bringing the support services to the child (rather than moving the child to the services) and requires only that the child will benefit from being in the class (rather than having to keep up with the other students). Proponents of inclusion generally favor newer forms of education service delivery.

Mainstreaming

Generally, mainstreaming has been used to refer to the selective placement of special education students in one or more "regular" education classes. Proponents of mainstreaming generally assume that a student must "earn" his or her opportunity to be placed in regular classes by demonstrating an ability to "keep up" with the work assigned by the regular classroom teacher. This concept is closely linked to traditional forms of special education service delivery.

Full Inclusion:

Full inclusion means that all students, regardless of handicapping condition or severity, will be in a regular classroom/program full time. All services must be taken to the child in that setting.

***In addition to problems related to definition, it also should be understood that there often is a philosophical or conceptual distinction made between mainstreaming and inclusion. Those who support the idea of mainstreaming believe that a child with disabilities first belongs in the special education environment and that the child must earn his/her way into the regular education environment.

Resource:

http://www.weac.org/Issues_Advocacy/Resource_Pages_On_Issues_one/Special_Education/special_education_inclusion.aspx

 

History/Laws

IDEA (1990)

  • Updated PL 94-192 (Education for All Handicapped Children Act)
  • Mandates the following:

To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are non-disabled;

Special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occur only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily; and

The educational placement of each child with a disability is as close as possible to the child's home.

IDEIA of 2004

  • Provides billions of dollars in federal funding to help states and local communities provide special education opportunities for approximately six million students with varying degrees of disability
  • Requires states to provide education in the least restrictive environment appropriate for the student
  • Degree of inclusion for the student is determined by the IEP team
  • IEP team must consider placing the student in the general education classroom initially when deciding the appropriate placement

FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education)

  • Children with disabilities are entitled to a publicly financed education that is appropriate to their age and abilities
  • Expenses associated with providing for the special of children with disabilities are a public responsibility

LRE (Least Restrictive Environment)

  • When IDEA was first enacted, children were unnecessarily separated from their peers and educated in alternative environments
  • Students should really be educated in the regular classroom
  • A student’s LRE should be outlined in their IEP as a means to maximize the child’s educational opportunities      

Resources:

http://www.sedl.org/change/issues/issues43/legislation.html  

http://www.in.gov/ipas/2411.htm  

http://www.weac.org/Issues_Advocacy/Resource_Pages_On_Issues_one/Special_Education/special_education_inclusion.aspx

 

What does Inclusion mean for students?

Statistics:

  • “In fall 2009, some 95 percent of 6- to 21-year-old students with disabilities were served in regular schools; 3 percent were served in a separate school for students with disabilities; 1 percent were placed in regular private schools by their parents; and less than 1 percent each were served in one of the following environments: in a separate residential facility, homebound or in a hospital, or in a correctional facility.”

(http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=59)

  • 43 percent of students in special education do not graduate.
  • Only 13.4 percent of youth with disabilities are living independently two years after leaving high school (compared to 33.2 percent of their non-disabled peers).
  • Less than half of all youth with disabilities are employed after having been out of school one to two years.

(http://www.sedl.org/change/issues/issues43/support_for_inclusion.html)

Pros:

Benefits of Inclusion for Students with Disabilities:

  • Increased social initiations, relationships and networks
  • Peer role models for academic, social and behavioral skills
  • Greater access to general curriculum
  • Increased inclusion in future environments
  • Higher expectations are set
  • Increased school and staff collaboration
  • Families are more integrated into community

Benefits of Inclusion for Students without Disabilities:

  • Increased appreciation and acceptance of individual differences
  • Increased understanding and acceptance of diversity
  • Prepares all students for adult like in an inclusive society
  • Opportunities to master activities by practicing and teaching others

Cons:

  • Inclusion may leave classroom teachers without the resources, training, and other supports necessary to teach students with disabilities in their classroom.
  • Inclusion does not make sense/help with the pressures from state legislatures to develop higher academic standards and to improve the academic achievement of students.
  • Teachers may have to direct more attention to student with disabilities, decreasing the attention/time to the rest of the class.

 

The How To's of Inclusion

Collaboration, Collaboration, Collaboration!

What is it?

  • Collaboration is working with other professionals and parents, and seeking out resources together to help the student benefit to his or her fullest in an educational environment within the inclusive classroom.

Who?

  • Teachers
  • Special Education Teachers
  • Specialists
  • Counselors
  • Parents

Why?

  • Students need to be held to the same standards when they are in the classroom, in another room in the building or at home.  Adults need to communicate to ensure that IEP goals are met in all settings.
  • Benefits the quality of instruction and supports for students with disabilities

How?

  • Training and technical assistance for teachers and other professionals
  • Support of school administrators
  • Constant communication among teachers, parents, students, and other professionals

It is All in the Attitude

  • Believe the student can succeed
  • Be committed to accept the responsibilities of the learning outcomes of students with disabilities
  • The teacher and other students have to be prepared to receive a student with disabilities
  • Parents need to be informed and supporting of the goals
  • Everyone needs to be committed to collaboration

Academic Strategies

  • Supply support and structure by clearly specifying classroom rules and responsibilities
  • Incorporate many ways in which students can learn and present information
  • Provide peer interaction
  • Adapt number if items presented to student
  • Extend the allotted time for learning tasks
  • Increase personal assistance for more support
  • Adapt how instruction is delivered
  • Adapt required skill level
  • Adapt how the student can respond to the instruction
  • Adapt extend of active involvement in task
  • Reinforce appropriate behavior
  • Set attainable, reasonable goals

Resources:

 http://nichcy.org/schoolage/effective-practices/coteaching

http://www.glencoe.com/sec/health/pdf/inclusion_strategies.pdf

  

Where does inclusion go from here?

“But just how far are schools required to go? In recent years, several decisions indicate that the courts are giving more serious consideration to the inclusion of children with even severe disabilities in mainstream education. However, none of the decisions has ordered full inclusion, and several have alluded to the possibility that mainstream education may not be appropriate as a given student advances through school.”

http://www.sedl.org/change/issues/issues43/legislation.html

Strategies on How to Improve Inclusion:

  • Adapting Classroom Structure:

Most important adaptation would be to foster a feeling of inclusion and diversity as a positive ideal in your classroom. You should never condone discriminatory remarks, rather you should encourage students to work in diverse groups, and allow each student to shine in their own way.

  • Adapting Teaching Methods

This is influenced by which students are going to be included into your classroom. Strategies may include incorporating cultural experiences for ELL students, providing tactile manipulative, and practicing concepts frequently while making sure to provide enrichment for students who have already mastered these concepts.

  • Adapting Classroom Work and Homework

Strategies for adapting these types of work may include pairing or grouping students with various disabilities with other students who can compensate, allowing students extra time to complete class work, reducing the length of the assignment for students who cannot complete the entire task, and allowing some students to demonstrate their mastery through verbal responses rather than written ones.

  • Adapting Quizzes and Exams

Strategies may include giving some students additional time to complete quizzes and exams, holding some students responsible for less material, and providing notes or outlines for those students who have difficulty taking their own notes. If a student’s reading and writing skills are weak due to their disability, you may want to dictate and record their responses to the questions and prompts on the quiz and/or test.  

*** One of the greatest resources for innovative inclusion strategies will be the specialist teacher in your school. It will help to spend time consulting with specialists daily, weekly or monthly - depending on the level of modifications needed in the classroom.

  

Extra Resources for More Information:

http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/CAAC/IEPTips.pdf

http://www.inclusionproject.org/level_1.php?id=5 (National Inclusion Project)

http://www.includingsamuel.com/resources/educators.aspx

http://www.pbs.org/parents/inclusivecommunities/

http://nichcy.org/schoolage/effective-practices/coteaching

http://www.princeton.edu/futureofchildren/publications/docs/06_01_04.pdf

 

 

http://www.teachervision.fen.com/special-education/resource/5346.html 

 

 

Our Resources:

http://www.sedl.org/change/issues/issues43/legislation.html

http://www.kidstogether.org/inclusion/benefitsofinclusion.htm

http://www.weac.org/Issues_Advocacy/Resource_Pages_On_Issues_one/Special_Education/special_education_inclusion.aspx

http://www.brighthubeducation.com/special-ed-inclusion-strategies/66075-inclusion-strategies-and-techniques-for-mainstreaming-special-ed-students/

http://nichcy.org/schoolage/effective-practices/coteaching

http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr320.shtml