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Last Updated: 03/18/2018

IEP Issues - Inclusion

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In the Mainstream but Isolated - Victoria Miresso cannot button a shirt, match a sock or tell one school bus from another. Yet at Roberto Clemente Middle School in Germantown, she is expected to function much like any other sixth-grader, coping with class changes, algebra quizzes and lunchroom bullies.


US Child Expert Quits Britain Over Special Needs 'Crisis' - "It was always my intention eventually to return home to the United States, but I'm going years early because in all conscience I can no longer participate in a corrupt and dysfunctional system that is dishonest in its treatment and management of children with special needs."


Inclusion News Summer 2006 - Inclusion News is a free publication that goes to parents, family members, teachers, doctors and other professionals who support children with special needs. Inclusion news is supported through the kindness of its subscribers, grants and endowments from private donors.

Full Inclusion: The New Reality Show - One of the most enduring (NOT endearing) stereotypes about our community is the importance of "special" everything when it comes to people with disabilities. While the original purpose for the term "special" was to distinguish us from "pitiful," it never worked. "Special" meant isolated, less than normal, separated for their own good, in their best interest, etc. It also meant people who think they don't have a disability could avoid us because we could live our whole lives in a haven that became a disability ghetto.


Eli's Choice - His parents fought for boy with Down syndrome to be in the mainstream. As a teenager, he just wanted to be with his friends.


Learning-Disabled Students Blossom in Blended Classes - Jed was a new boy. His fourth grade had two full-time teachers and the class was so well-organized, Jed moved smoothly from one task to the next. When Ms. Jacobs asked how he liked it, Jed said he thought his teachers must have a disability too, because they made it so easy to understand the work.


Inclusive Schools Week 2005: December 5-9 - Great things happen in inclusive schools. Inclusive schools are better prepared to bridge the achievement gap for students of diverse abilities and backgrounds, because they integrate special education supports into the curriculum and affirm students’ rich cultures. The 5th Annual National Inclusive Schools Week™ will be celebrated in schools, classrooms, and communities December 5-9, 2005, with a special focus on the achievement gap and strategies for improving educational outcomes for all students. Free Celebration Kit now available!


Editorial: 'Special' Education Helps All Students - The University of Cincinnati has just announced a plan to offer free or drastically reduced tuition to teachers willing to enter the field of special education. That's a cost savings and employment enhancement for teachers, but the real winners in this package are students - and that's not just children with special needs but regular education students as well.


Talking To Kids: Mainstreaming Into Classrooms - The world is made up of many different kinds of people. There are people with different skin colors, different religions, different hairstyles, different accents, and different learning abilities, just to name a few. Yet, despite all their differences, most people somehow manage to work together successfully.


MI Teacher Receives Award For Inclusion - No one gets left out in Pam Morgan’s classroom. The Bird Elementary teacher was recently awarded ‘Teacher of the Year’ by the Arc of Northwest Wayne County because of the way she has promoted the concept of ‘inclusion’ in her first-grade class of 23 students.


U.K. Turning Point For Special Needs? - The BBC's Mike Baker detects signs of a change in the approach to children's learning difficulties: “We may even be at another turning point: after almost 30 years of movement in one direction, the pendulum could be about to swing back from inclusion towards segregation.”


LA Learning Together - In the metro area, children in special-education are increasingly moving into regular classes. Once there, the children - those with special needs and those without - are learning important lessons about life.


Project Participate provides families, educators, administrators and therapists with simple strategies to increase the active participation of students with disabilities in school programs. Project Participate facilitates team collaboration and promotes the appropriate uses of technology in the classroom. Explore our site to see success stories and learn practical solutions to enhance learning, teaching, and the full inclusion of students with disabilities in the classroom. Download sample curricular adaptations, handouts for training, intervention planning forms and more!


Everyone Together (Michigan) - At an individual local network level we seek to educate parents and increase their advocacy for inclusion of children with disabilities in general education classrooms. As a group of networks, we seek to support each other and to combine our voices to advocate for the inclusion of all children who are routinely separated and segregated based on disability. As a statewide coalition of networks, we seek the fundamental changes to the education system that are necessary if we are ever to achieve All Children, All Together, All the Time. We seek to align ourselves with like-minded organizations and to advocate for the adoption of policies, legislation, and practices that support Universal Education. All Children, All Together, All the Time. That is our mission.


PA Pennsylvania Agrees to Changes in Special Ed to Increase Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Regular Ed Classes - The state of Pennsylvania and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia have concluded an historic settlement of litigation designed to change the quality of special education services throughout the state. Pursuant to the agreement, the state will change how it helps its 501 school districts comply with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and how it monitors that compliance. The settlement is designed to increase the inclusion of students with disabilities in regular education classes with non-disabled students.


Inclusion at the Heart of His School - Joe Petner, in his 15th year as the principal of the Haggerty School in Cambridge, is a pioneer of whole-school inclusion, which integrates children with disabilities into all aspects of school life. In an interview with Globe correspondent Ashley Pettus, Petner discusses the ingredients needed to make the inclusive school ideal a reality.


Featured Website: Inclusion - "Children who learn together, learn to live together." - This web site is designed for general education teachers, special education teachers, parents, and school staff to help provide some answers about how inclusive education can be accomplished. Resources for making accommodations are included as well as links to other web sites and resource lists for learning more about inclusive education.


CA Acceptance Reigns Along With a King - David Mason crossed his fingers and squeezed his eyes shut as he listened to the announcement that confirmed his dream: This Culver City High School senior, an autistic youth enrolled in the campus' special education program, was named homecoming king after a landslide vote.


Legal Requirements and Court Cases in Support of Inclusion - The most current language of the federal mandate concerning inclusive education comes from the 1997 Amendments to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These federal regulations include rulings that guide the regulation. The IDEA requires that children with disabilities be educated in regular education classrooms unless "the nature and severity of the disability is such that education in the regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily." This means that schools have a duty to try to include students with disabilities in the regular general education classes.

Integrated at Last: The Right to Belong, The Story of Yvonne


Featured Website: The Supportive Classroom - A Curriculum for Creating Safe and Supportive Classroom Environments - Tested in 14 Vermont Schools Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. "We believe that all students need to be supported to feel good about themselves, to feel good about school, and to feel that they belong. For belonging to occur, students and their teachers must be supported, and opportunities created for students to meaningfully participate and make friendships. For every student to belong, teachers must strive to find a way to help all students to have power and worth as individuals and as group members."


Her Passion: Care For Disabled - As she waited for her newborn child to be brought to the nursery, Sylvia Kloc saw that all of the other mothers had their babies already. She knew something must be wrong. Some months later, when a doctor said her infant son, Steven, had Down syndrome and encouraged her to put him in an institution, Kloc said she knew there was a better way.
PowerPoint Presentation: Tools for Getting Parents Involved in the Exceptional Education Process; Inclusion of Students with Communications, Learning & Social Relating Disorders

Getting to Know Your Classmates with Special Needs by Mary Ellen Leahy, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute - The primary objective of this unit is to sensitize both students and teachers to special education students and their needs and their rights. Many regular education students and teachers have had limited contact with special education students.


The 2nd edition of "Foundations for Inclusive Education" is now available at


U.S. Denial of Mainstreaming Rejected - In a ruling hailed as a victory for disabled children, a federal judge has ruled that a 4-year-old child with Down syndrome must be "mainstreamed" at the preschool level at least temporarily and that, after an initial trial period, Pennsylvania education officials must put the burden on the school district to prove that a non-mainstream placement is more appropriate.


A Personal Story - I knew that this day would come. I just didn't know when. My son Sebastian (age 10) came home from school today talking about how Lincoln helped free the slaves and how Martin Luther King Jr. helped people of all races to realize his dream of equality.


OR And Inclusion For All - On a chilly Saturday morning at Roosevelt High School, Michael Remus replays a theme he has delivered throughout his career to 21 teachers gathered for a school improvement workshop: "If I walk into a classroom and the kids are doing fractions," he says, pacing in front of the teachers, "I want to know what the special education kids are doing to learn fractions. The curriculum needs to be linked to everybody."


Boy, Have They Missed the Point! - Because I have IDEA reauthorization on my mind all of the time these days, as I was driving away from the auditorium, all that I could think was, “Boy, have our legislators missed the point!” Because of IDEA ’97, Nicholas’ kind school staff now just naturally understands why we work toward placement in the least restrictive environment with age appropriate peers, give access to the curriculum, and implement Positive Behavior Support concepts on a daily basis.


Inclusion, Advocacy & Self-Determination Websites

Segregated Learning Hurts Social Education - What Amanda George wants most of all is to get married and have babies. The trouble is that Amanda, although she graduated from Fayetteville High School, was never really part of the class of 2000. While she was learning basic academics, she missed out on the social opportunities that teach youngsters how to make friends and build relationships. That's where the "self-contained classroom" concept of special education failed her, her mother believes. Even though Amanda attended some regular classes, like physical education, and ate lunch with her "typical" peers, she spent most of her time in a classroom with other special education students and never enjoyed the full extracurricular experience that is high school.


TN Special Ed Battle: Family Wins Case, Seeks Legal Fees From Monongalia Schools - Jim and Eleanor Green spend most of their evenings reading legal documents -- time taken away from reading storybooks to their two children. The couple, whose 8-year-old daughter, Julie, has Down syndrome, is embroiled in a battle with the Monongalia County school system. The battle has cost both parties a combined $170,000. And a lot of time and energy. It started in spring 2002 when the Greens disagreed with school officials, who attempted to increase Julie's time out of the regular classroom at Mountainview Elementary from 21 percent to 60 percent. Officials said Julie (who is mildly mentally retarded) needed a specialized environment to learn.


U.S. School Systems Move Toward Special Education Inclusion - Nationwide, school systems are moving toward special education inclusion. Inclusion means incorporating special education instruction in the traditional classroom daily, instead of sending special-needs students to other rooms to receive instruction.


TN Special Ed Has No Place in Tennessee District - There are no "special education" programs in Williamson County, Tennessee. There are no self-contained special education classrooms and no special education teachers. Instead, students are taught at their grade level with the help of a "Student Support Services" department that serves all students, whether they qualify for special education services or not. If special help is needed, there are "resource rooms" or "learning labs" that are used by all students.


Meaningful Student Involvement: Guide to Inclusive School Change (PDF) - Check out this POWERFUL new publication (from that challenges students, teachers, and community supporters to dream and do more in schools.  In this booklet author Adam Fletcher explains why "student voice" should be better, and then details how that is happening in a lot of schools. An inspiring read for students and educators everywhere! 


Quick-Guides to Inclusion 3: Ideas for Educating Students with Disabilities
We hope this free e-book will provide you with a quick and easy way to share important information about inclusion with your colleagues! You can download the entire e-book or pick and choose among the guides included in the e-book: Differentiated Instruction, Literacy, Supporting Friendships, Self-Determination, High School Classrooms, and Students Who Use Wheelchairs. Edited by Michael F. Giangreco, Ph. D

Parent Resource Sharing

  • A differentiated classroom provides different avenues to acquiring content, processing or making sense of ideas, and developing products. Click here for information on Differentiated Instruction.

  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a new paradigm for teaching, learning, and assessment, drawing on new brain research and new media technologies to respond to individual learner differences. Click here to learn more.

MI Parents Work for Universal Education - Special-needs kids join general classes with help of group. With a little help from his friends, Trent Orginski, 12, rapped out his book report for his seventh-grade classmates at Pathfinder School.


Don't Take Sides on Inclusion - I am far more aware than most that it really is possible to get inclusion right. I'm also far more aware than most of just how wrong "inclusion" is when it's not right.  My child will no longer pay a price for my ideology. He's paying a different price right now -- the price of being segregated from his non-disabled peers. I get to live with the guilt of allowing this. Supporting it, even.


Designing Personalized Learning for Every Student: Activity Based Assessment (ABA) Inventory and Other Forms - Today's students are more diverse than ever before—in cultural backgrounds, learning styles and interests, social and economic classes, and abilities and disabilities. How can schools accommodate these differences while also dealing with other demands for change, from the push for tougher standards to the call for more discipline in the classroom? This book offers answers—and challenges schools to reinvent themselves as more flexible, creative learning communities that include and are responsive to a full range of human diversity.

Institute on Community Integration - "At the Institute, we believe that all persons with developmental and other disabilities should live as valued members of local communities. We seek to make this possible through improving the services and social supports available to individuals with disabilities and their families."

VA Fairfax County Considers Closing Centers For Special Ed - In Fairfax County, Virginia, there are 20 special-education centers for middle school students who have been classified as emotionally disturbed, learning disabled or both. Segregating these students from the mainstream represents one side of a national debate over special education. On the other side is a growing effort to integrate them into regular classrooms, a practice known as "inclusion."


MI Everyone Together: Local Group Promoting Inclusion - Students with disabilities can learn from getting experience in a traditional classroom setting, a speaker says.  An expert in educating children with disabilities told a crowd of teachers, parents and therapists Wednesday that just because a child has different academic needs doesn't mean he needs to be sheltered from other students.


Inclusion Aids Students With Special Needs - Being part of a school boosts success, expert and teens say. Twenty years ago, high school students with special needs would have been placed in separate classrooms, with limited interaction with other kids. Today, Kelly Kaser, a 19-year-old Carmel student with Down syndrome, has a totally different experience.


TASH: Q & A about Inclusive Education - click here.

The Access Center - Improving Outcomes for All Students K-8. Enhancing access to the general education curriculum for students with disabilities.


CAST: A not-for-profit organization that uses technology to expand opportunities for all people, especially those with disabilities.


Inclusion is Not a Place, It is a Feeling - I am a person with disabilities and when I say "my friends" I mean friends, real friends just like everyone else, I have friends. Most of you think all people have friends but for people with disabilities friends are not always real. I want you to know why I have friends.


Meeting Special Needs: An emotional school-choice battle - Segregated or mainstream?


A description of Inclusion Policy under State and Federal Law from the Pennsylvania Department of Education can be found at: - excerpt: "Special education is a service, not a place. The purpose of special education parallels the purpose of elementary and secondary education as a whole: to prepare children to lead productive independent lives as citizens and members of an adult community. Exceptional students often need exceptional interventions, so that they may eventually lead productive lives to the greatest extent possible."

Listserv Dedicated to Inclusion: The kidstogether list focuses exclusively on inclusive education and communities. More information can be found at


CA L.A. Unified to Keep 16 Schools Segregated for Special Education - Ruling: The decision by a federal judge was prompted by parents' opposition to integration.


Voice of Experience: Learn why teacher Janice Robertson looks forward to integrating special-needs students into her classroom lessons. [source]


Should Inclusion Include Every Student? Read Differing Views on a controversial topic.


Kids Together, Inc. - All children with disabilities are to be educated to the "maximum extent" with children who do not have disabilities. -Federal Law I.D.E.A. Sec. 612.5 (A)



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