Benjamin and the other students with disabilities were virtually indistinguishable from students without disabilities. They were thought of—and treated like—all the other students. All children were seen as "learners." Supports, accommodations, curriculum modifications, and assistive technology devices were provided to meet their needs.
What is inclusive education? It depends on who you ask. While doing presentations around the country, I’ve heard a variety of definitions of “inclusion.” Parents have said, “My child is included in art, PE, and music.” But this is actually “visitation.” Some have said, “My child is fully included in regular classes with a full-time aide.” When questioned further, the mom reports that her child and the aide sit in the back of the room and the child has little, if any, interaction with the other students or the classroom teacher. This is “integration.” Other parents have said their children are included, but these children are actually in the regular classroom only for homeroom, and the rest of the day is spent in a special ed/resource room. And some educators have said their schools are inclusive since students with disabilities are in the same building as students without disabilities; these students never see the inside of a regular ed classroom, but they’re said to be included. I’m not sure what to call this!
Inclusion could be compared to pregnancy: you either are or you’re not! Click here to continue.
Inclusive Education: A Primer
New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense