Inclusive Supports and Services for Students with Disabilities
EASD and the Special Education Department’s Vision on Inclusive Practices
The Special Education Department’s vision on inclusive practices is in line with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Gaskin Settlement Agreement- it is a strength-based model focused on what the child can do, as well as addressing the areas of need within the IEP. It is deeply rooted in maximizing a child’s potential and recognizing that if the child did not have a disability, he or she would be educated in the general education classroom setting.
Each child with special needs is unique, as are their needs. This is why they have an Individualized Education Program (IEP)- so that their supports and services can be tailored to fit their needs. Inclusion is about each and every child. It is about how we can help each child reach his or her full potential. We start the conversation about inclusion in the general education setting first at the IEP meeting, not only because it is being asked of us to do so in the law, but because it is the right place to start. This does not mean that all students will be fully educated in the general education setting; it simply means that we adjust from there and tailor it to what that child needs.
EASD and Special Education Department’s Goals of Inclusive Practices:
The goal of providing an inclusive education, to the maximum extent appropriate, for students with disabilities is giving every child the help that they need to learn.
It is providing an educational opportunity, to the maximum extent appropriate, for all students, especially students with special needs, that is focused on providing that educational experience within the general education classroom setting first, which would be the same class they would be in if they did not have a disability.
To design supports and services that are portable and may be provided in a wide variety of locations as decided by the child’s IEP team.
To promote the strength-based model by focusing on what the child can do, as well as addressing the areas of need within the IEP.