Along with many other topics of special education, the topic of inclusion has been surrounded by uncertainty and controversy for as long as the concept has been around.
This controversy may stem from the fact that inclusion is expensive and experts disagree about how much time disabled students should spend in regular classrooms (Cambanis, 2001). Although this topic is controversial, it cannot be ignored. Inclusion will, at some point, affect 1% of all children born each year, who will have disabilities and the families and educators they will come in contact with (Stainback, 1985).
There are two major federal laws that deal with the education of children with special needs. One of these laws is, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, also known as IDEA (W.E.A.C, 2001). This law passed in 1975, was the first act to guarantee all students with disabilities a public education (Kluth, Villa & Thousand, 2001).
This law requires that the school district supply an IEP, individualized education program (Merritt, 2001), for every child with disabilities. This law also requires that the IEP team consider placing each child in the least restrictive environment possible (W.E.A.C, 2001). The least restrictive environment possible refers to the environment that would benefit the handicapped student the most, both academically and socially.
The IEP team usually considers three possibilities for the student. One possibility is that of a self-contained classroom, where the student would be in a class with all disabled students and be taught by special education teachers. A second possibility is that the student be placed in a general education classroom for half of the...
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.... Learning Disability Quarterly, 24(4), pp.265-74. Retrieved March 11, 2002 from WilsonSelect Database.
Palmer, David S., Fuller, Kathy., Arora, Tina. (2001). Taking Sides: Parent View on Inclusion for Their Children with Severe Disabilities. Exceptional Children, 67(4), pp.467-484. Retrieved March, 11, 2002 from WilsonSelect Database.
Choate, Joyce S. (1997). Successful Inclusive Teaching- Proven Ways to Detect and Correct Special Needs. Massachusetts: Allyn& Bacon.
Stainback, Susan & William. (1985). Integration of Students with Severe Handicaps into Regular Schools. Virginia: The Council for Exceptional Children.
Special Education Inclusion. (2001). Retrieved February 25, 2002 from http://www.weac.org.htm
Active Inclusion-Facilitating Active Inclusion in Secondary Education. (2000). Retrieved February 25, 2002 from http://www.faise.com
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