Inclusion Basics

For over 30 years, the philosophy and practice of inclusive schools has grown from minimal awareness to a recognized bedrock component of schools around the globe that demands dual standards of excellence and equity for all students. Yet there is still confusion and widely varying definitions of the “inclusion.” The lack of a common understanding of this important practice actually impedes further progress for students, their families, and the educators who teach them.

Simply stated, inclusive education means that all students are full and accepted members of their school community, in which their educational setting is the same as their non-disabled peers, whenever appropriate.

While federal legislation regarding education for students with disabilities does not include the terms ‘inclusion’ or ‘inclusive education’, the Least Restrictive Environment requirement from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, provides the basis for our understanding, practice, and legal interpretations.

Roadmap to Quality Inclusion: A Checklist for Campus Leadership

This self-check instrument was designed for principals and assistant principals with a simple way to review current successes regarding inclusive education.  It is also a format for identifying any practices that you believe should be part of your future efforts toward continued improvement of services to students in inclusive settings. Parents and practitioners will also… Read More

Myths of Inclusion

Myths of Inclusion This document captures several of the typical myths, or misunderstandings, about the practice of inclusive education.  See if you recognize any of these.  Let us know any myths that we should add to our list… Read More

Inclusion Basics Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is inclusion? Inclusion is a belief system that all students are general education students attending their neighborhood school with their chronologically age-appropriate peers. The general education curriculum and classroom is the starting point for planning for all students and is based on the premise that necessary supports and services for students with disabilities… Read More

10 Things Not to Say in An IEP Meeting

Read about ten things to never say in an IEP meeting and why not to say them! As described on January 18, 2013 to "The Mary and Melissa Show," a call-in advocacy radio show by parents for parents raising children with disabilities. 10 Things NOT to Say in an IEP Meeting… Read More

The Characteristics of Inclusive Educators Video

Characteristics of Inclusive Schools Knowing Doing Gap PDF As described on January 18, 2013 to "The Mary and Melissa Show," a call-in advocacy radio show by parents for parents raising children with disabilities. Watch The Characteristics of Inclusive Educators Video Inclusive Educators… Realize that inclusion is for every student. One of the most powerful of human needs… Read More

The Inclusion Campaign

The Inclusion Campaign is a collaborative of New Jersey students, parents and non-profit organizations working to ensure that students with disabilities have their place in the general education classroom throughout New Jersey. They believe that all students are entitled to an equitable share of educational resources and can achieve to their highest potential. This video from The Inclusion… Read More

Important Inclusion Basics

There are several important basic understandings when practicing inclusion in the classroom including: Inclusive education decisions must be based solely on the needs of the student. Labels, available space, and administrative convenience are not relevant to decisions regarding a student’s appropriate educational setting. Schools or districts cannot make top-down decisions either to eliminate services in… Read More

New Models of Support History Lesson

In order to understand the need for new models of support, let's look at a brief history lesson related to staffing for special programs in American schools. There have been several positive shifts in education! New Models of Support History Lesson… Read More

Interactive Glossary of Differentiated Instruction Terms

The Inclusive Schools Network and Stetson & Associates, Inc. created this glossary to define common terms used when differentiating instruction for diverse learners. View the Glossary Here Inclusion Basics Article Inclusion requires leadership for shared ownership, multi-level instruction, a schedule and staffing process driven by student needs with protected time for teacher collaboration. Learn more about… Read More

Sustaining Progress Toward Inclusive Schools

Educators and parents agree that the initial work required to create inclusive schools often involves a shift in philosophy and changes in instructional practice. This work is not easy and the time frame for successful change from limited knowledge of inclusive practices to a smooth system of services and supports usually requires at least two… Read More