• Components of inclusive education •
• Benefits of Inclusive Education •
• Inclusion. It's not for everyone? •
• Our School Doesn't Offer Inclusion •
• Inclusion Links •
• Inclusion Resources •
What is Inclusion?
Inclusion is part of a much larger picture then just
placement in the regular class within school. It is being included in
life and participating using one's abilities in day to day activities as
a member of the community.
Inclusion is being a part of what everyone
else is, being welcomed and embraced as a member who belongs
It is being a part of what everyone else is,
and being welcomed and embraced as a member who belongs. Inclusion can
occur in schools, churches, play- grounds, work and in recreation.
Human beings, regardless if they happen to have a
disability or not, have basic needs that must be met in order to feel
fulfilled. The basic needs of food, water and shelter are necessary for
us to exist. It's also easy to see that when you don't eat right or
exercise it can adversely effect your health and capacity to function in
other areas of your life. Having meaning and purpose to what you do and
who you are, provides inspiration. Feeling useless or doing things that
are meaningless, decreases motivation and self-esteem. A sense of
belonging, being loved, having relationships and friendships with others
enriches our lives. Feelings of loneliness and alienation can have a
negative impact in all areas of our lives. Education helps meet the need
to learn and grow and not remain stagnant, but as with any of our needs,
if we focus on one at the expense of the others it does not maximize the
overall quality of life. When all these needs are met in an integrated
way, each area adds strength in the ability to achieve fulfillment in
the other areas. Inclusion is about meeting all those needs, and
maximizing a person's overall quality of life.
In school, inclusion does not occur by placement in
the regular class alone, rather it is a desired end-state. It must be
created with proper planning, preparation and supports. The goal of
inclusion is achieved only when a child is participating in the
activities of the class, as a member who belongs, with the supports and
services they need. Inclusion is "not" a trade-off of supports and
services for placement in the regular class and is not a trade-off of
achievement of individual goals. No matter where a child with a
disability is placed, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) must be
developed around the child's needs. The IEP objectives must continue to
be met in the regular class. The same applies to the related services a
child needs, they must continue to be provided for in the regular
The fundamental principle of inclusive education
is the valuing of diversity within
the human community.... When inclusive education is fully embraced,
the idea that children have to become "normal" in order to
contribute to the world....
We begin to look beyond typical ways of becoming valued members of
the community, and in doing so, begin to realize the achievable goal
of providing all children with an authentic sense of belonging.
(Kunc 1992, pp. 38-39).
The regular class is not looked at as
how it is,
but how it "can be"
Inclusion in school requires a shift in the paradigm,
instead of getting the child ready for the regular class, the regular
class gets ready for the child. It's not a decision of zero or one
hundred percent, but what ever balance that can be achieved to maximize
meeting all of a child's needs. The regular class is not looked at as
how it is, but how it "can be".
Adaptations are made to the materials,
the curriculum and/or the expectations of the activities for the
individual child, maintaining achievement of all individual and academic
goals. The purpose isn't simply social or academic, but to meet all of a
child's needs together where ever possible.
Through inclusive education children with
disabilities remain on a path that leads to an adult life as a
participating member of society. Meeting all their needs together
increases their ability to achieve academic and physical growth to their
potential, and it enhances their overall quality of life. Inclusive
education teaches all children team work and how to interrelate and
function together with others of different abilities. They learn to
value diversity, see the ability of others to contribute, and it gives
children a sense of unity.
Written by Colleen F. Tomko
Material Copyrighted 1996 Kids Together, Inc.
This material may be copied for non-profit use only. (May be linked but
not copied on to other websites)
Please notify us of
It is also important to
utilize strategies such as Vision Building, Circle of Friends, MAPS,
Paths, Self-determination, and Person Centered Planning to build
successful inclusion in addition to the resources listed below.
to create Inclusion
- Everything you wanted to know about Special Education Law
Special Ed Advocate Wrightslaw web site
Articles, cases, newsletters, and other essential information about
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How, why, what. Differences, importance, roles and efficiency.
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under IDEA 2004
Interview on NPR Listen -13 minutes
Weekend Edition Sunday
April 25, 2004 · Prior to the 1970s, children
with disabilities seeking education could not attend public schools and
were either sent to private schools or state institutions and lived
there under horrible conditions. Lawyers went to court using the Supreme
Court's Brown v. the Board of Education decision, and argued that
children with disabilities deserved the same equal education that black
children won years earlier. reported by NPR's Joseph Shapiro
Don't Miss the
section on "Inclusive IEP planning!"