TEP 224 Spring 2014
Full Inclusion Versus Self-Contained or Special Schools
The treatment of individuals with disabilities has changed dramatically since the 1800’s. Reynolds 1988, describes, Progressive inclusion, the evolution of services provided to those with various disabilities. In the early 1800’s residential institutions, or asylums were seem as common place accommodations for individuals with hearing, visual, mental or emotional impairments. Institutions remained the primary educational support until a century later in the early 1900’s. The parents of students with disabilities brought upon a legislation change. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, these parents pressured courts and legislatures to introduce a change in educational services. Reynolds (1988), discussed the birth of The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975. This act mandated that all children, regardless of disability, had the right to a free, appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. As a result, resource and self-contained classrooms expanded in public schools. In 1991 the Individuals with Disabilities Act was inducted. As a result professionals in the field of special education are giving more consideration to placing students in the least restrictive environment.
Least restrictive environment was a concept outlined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. As written, this act mandates that children with disabilities should be educated with children who are not disabled to the maximum extent appropriate. Special needs classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment should occur only if the nature and severity of the disability is such that the education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. (Reynolds 1988). The least restrictive environment supports the students’ right to be in the general education classroom unless data has proven that IEP goals cannot be met in that setting, with support services. Least restrictive environment supports can include, but aren’t limited to, consultants, adult aids, peer and cross age tutors, peer helpers, coaches, special educators, mobility specialists, vision specialists, assistive technology, positive behavior strategies, modified assignments, study breaks, or preferential seating. If the inclusive environment is deemed inappropriate, the IEP can consider such options such as resource rooms, special classes, special schools or home/hospital instruction (Illinois State Board of Education, 2009).
The inclusive models is set up in such a way that the special education team is brought into the regular mainstream classroom to work in conjunction with the regular educator. Some researchers are now supporting the claim that children with disabilities, including children with severe disabilities, can be educated appropriately without isolation from peers...