Inclusive Education

By: MaryAnn Demchak

A frequently recommended educational practice is that students with disabilities, including severe disabilities, should receive education in general education classes with their non-disabled peers. The purpose of this fact sheet is to explain what inclusion is and is not and to delineate the benefits of inclusion.

What Is Inclusion?

  1. Chronologically age-appropriate general education settings
  2. ALL students having the option to participate in school and after-school activities
  3. Opportunities to interact and develop friendships
  4. Students attending neighborhood schools
  5. Collaboration
  6. Related services: Transdisciplinary teaming
  7. Viewing special education as a service not as a place
  8. Planning for transitions

What Inclusion Is NOT

  1. 1. Dumping students without supports and services needed
  2. Doing away with special education services
  3. Ignoring each student's unique needs
  4. Sacrificing the education of general education students
  5. All students having to learn the same thing, at the same time, in the same way

Benefits of Inclusive Education

The benefits of inclusive education are numerous for both students with disabilities as well as those without.

Benefits of Inclusion: Students With Disabilities

  1. Peer role models
  2. Decreased rates of inappropriate behavior
  3. Increased proportion of IEP objectives achieved
  4. Enhanced skill acquisition and generalization
  5. Increased inclusion in future environments
  6. Increased opportunities for interactions
  7. Increased social initiations
  8. Friendships
  9. Improved appearance

Benefits of Inclusion: Students Without Disabilities

  1. Increased understanding and acceptance of diversity
  2. Increased appreciation and acceptance of individual differences
  3. Meaningful friendships
  4. Respect for all people
  5. Preparing for a future inclusive society
  6. Opportunities to master activities by practicing and teaching others