Inclusion in the Classroom
Inclusion is one of the very controversial topics concerning the education of students in today's society. It is the effort to put children with disabilities into the general education classes. The main purpose is to ensure that every child receives the best education possible by placing them in the best learning environment possible. Inclusion is a very beneficial idea, supported by law that promotes a well-rounded education while also teaching acceptance of others.
Inclusion has adapted to refer to the inclusion of handicapped students in general education classes, but there are many other ways to refer to inclusion. In the early stages inclusion was referred to as integration, it is now defined as ?mixing or combining of programs for children with disabilities and children who do not have disabilities.? (Cavallaro & Haney 1999) It also was referred to as mainstreaming, or the ?reentry of children with mild disabilities to regular education settings. Children may be mainstreamed for part or all of a day, and they may or may not receive any special education support or services in the mainstreamed environment.? (Cavallaro & Haney 1999) After awhile these two concepts of integration and mainstreaming were merged together to what is now known as inclusion; which is putting disabled children in general education classes as much as possible and only being pulled out with reason to believe that it is necessary.
The government is very compassionate about the idea of an appropriate education for all students and has created several laws and regulations to insure the inclusion of all students. Inclusion followers believe that the idea of inclusion is supported by the Fourteenth Amendment that ?guarantees the right of all people to the same privileges and opportunities.? (Cavallaro & Haney 1999) The Fourteenth Amendment, in this case, means that if a child has the ability to be in a regular classroom and will get a better education from it then they are entitled to that right.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was created to help all citizens with disabilities and create laws supporting them. In Section 504, the focus is inclusion in schools. It ?established a system of vocational rehabilitation programs and services that were designed to increase opportunities for individuals with disabilities to prepare for, secure, maintain and regain employment.? It also ?prohibits discrimination on basis of disability in programs and activities, both public and private, that receive federal financial assistance.? (Winzer & Mazurek 2000) The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, section 504 also states that a person that is receiving funds from the federal government must arrange 2qhandicapped children in regular classrooms, unless the recipient has demonstrated that the regular classroom is unbeneficial. (Education Issues Series 2001) This act along with Americans with Disabilities Act ?form solid foundation on which today?s...