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Why Inclusion ?
Prior to 1975
Prior to 1975 children with disabilities were not allowed to comingle with their typical aged developing students in any classroom.
Children with disabilities were often considered uneducable, anyone with an IQ less than 50 were not allowed to attend public schools
Children with disabilities were institutionalized, or sent to special schools.
Many did not attend school at all.
The Education Of All Children With Handicaps was implemented.
All children were to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
Least Restrictive Environment as loosely stated. There were still no regulations that allowed for Inclusive Education, mainstreaming was considered, going from a special school to a public school.
Individualized Education Plans ( IEP’s) were public law.
2004 The reauthorization of IDEA was implemented
However, it is still a struggle
Stark County still has special schools
Change is slow
Things were not being implemented according to the laws of the land
Understanding and Implementing the IEP
You as educators must understand Universal Designed Learning
Honor the IEP It is after all a legal document
Understand the extended standards to the common core
Respecting the wishes of the parent
And always presume competance
SO How Do We Get To The Inclusion Revolution!
Persistence Persistence Persistence
Focusing on the needs of the child
Requires actually reading the Future Planning Section Of The IEP
Seeing the learning as a child first and not a diagnosis
Understanding the big picture
The Inclusion Revolution is:
A mind set
A way of living
A thought process that requires oftentimes thinking out of the box
There is no other way
So Why Inclusion
Inclusion begins at home before it can begin anywhere else
Then in the community
Then it begins at school
Its been a long road but a good road
He’s the first child in the county to be fully included with supports and services being pushed into the classroom
He is also the first child in the district, trailblazing through
There are now 3 other children in Plain Local Schools who are fully included.
We happen to live in a school district that is extraordinary! Go Eagles!
The least resistive and the most compliant
We now have 16 other children who happen to have Down Syndrome included on the county.
Some Kids Included
Pro’s To Inclusion
Research states that inclusion works
Research states that children who happen to be included are up to three years more advanced in social, developmental such as speech, and academic's.
Our children learn to live independently
Work in the community
Have normal functioning lives
Belonging in society
That’s the big picture
It’s a win win for everyone
Teachers learn that children with significant disabilities are educable and are very capable of learning right next to their typical peers
Typical learners, learn compassion, acceptance, tolerance and to live in a world of diversity
Inclusion is ones fundamental basic civil right, and it helps break down the barriers that have once held our children in chains preventing them from learning and growing.
Con’s To Inclusion
Its hard to get educators on board
The tone of the school is set by administration, therefore, if administration is not on board, its difficult to sway others in
The lack of professional development
The lack of appropriate supports and services
The pros out weigh the con’s
Clearly the pro’s are far more significant than the con’s to inclusive living. Everyone benefits from an inclusive society, when we learn that Disability is natural, and that disability can happen to anyone at anytime, we learn that diversity is ok and nothing to fear.