Practices in Inclusive Settings at K-12 Classrooms and Higher Education in USA

Practices in Inclusive Settings at K-12 Classrooms and Higher Education in USA

DOI: 10.4018/979-8-3693-0664-2.ch009
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This chapter focuses on inclusion of students with disabilities in educational settings as practiced in the USA. It discusses federal legislation such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that has been instrumental in heralding inclusion in the USA. The K-12 schools and institutions of higher education include in their programs students with various disabilities such as learning disability and autism. Some of the inclusion strategies implemented in K-12 settings are Individualized Education Plans, Section 504 Plans, and Universal Design for Learning. In higher education, efforts have been made to remove structural barriers, provide testing accommodations, instructional accommodations, modify policies, provide online class materials, allow service animals and emotional support animals on campus. For students with intellectual disabilities, Think College, a recent option to inclusive higher education, has been picking up momentum. Despite all efforts, inclusion in education has barriers that need to be addressed for the benefit of all.
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Federal Mandates Focusing On Inclusion In The Usa

The early educational history of students with disabilities in the USA is certainly a sad one. Generally, students with disabilities were excluded from public schools and those who did gain entrance were denied adequate education. Several court cases such as Diana v. Board of Education (1970), Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1972), Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia (1972), and parent activism led to the passage of landmark federal legislation that paved way for the inclusion of students with disabilities in public schools (Colarusso et al., 2017).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Response to Intervention (RTI): Basically, a three-tier process to identify students experiencing academic and or behavioral challenges and then provide interventions.

Special Education: Specialized instruction for students with disabilities. It can take many forms and may include related services such as occupational therapy & specialized transportation.

Intellectual Disability (ID): One of 13 disabilities in the USA, characterized by significant subaverage intellectual functioning coexisting with deficits in adaptive behavior evident during development period ; 0 to 18 years.

Collaborative Teaching: A teaching arrangement where general education teacher and special education teacher collaborate to plan, teach, and assess students.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP): Each child with a disability has an IEP, developed by a multidisciplinary team. It outlines goals and objectives and is reviewed annually. It targets all areas of a child’s special needs.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Learning that is accessible to all learners. It includes multiple means of representation, multiple means of engagement, and multiple.

Flexible Grouping: Students of diverse abilities are taught in dyads, small groups, large groups and even one-on-one.

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