Inclusion is an effort to make sure that all students benefit by becoming important and contributing members of their school communities. It is the attempt to make sure that students with disabilities go to school along with their friends and neighbors while also receiving the “specially designed instruction and support” they need to succeed as learners and to achieve with high standards. Inclusion is different than past efforts at mainstreaming and integration. Inclusive schooling practices embrace the idea that, since everyone is an individual, schools, teaching, and learning must be organized so that every student gets a learning experience that “fits”.
What does an Inclusive School Look like?
- Administrators guide and support inclusive practices, ensuring a safe and welcoming environment
- Teachers believe they are accountable for ALL students
- The collaborative structures in place enables staff to be responsive to changes
- Students with disabilities are educated along side their typical peers
- All students are recognized and celebrated for their unique talents
- All students are actively engaged
- Classes consist of diverse learners
- Teachers value each unique learning styles, and meet those individuals’ needs
- Multiple methods of student expression and assessments exist