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The mission of the TASH Inclusive Education National Agenda Committee is:
To transform school communities based on social justice principles in which all students:
• Are presumed competent;
• Are welcomed as valued members of all general education classes and extra-curricular activities in their local schools;
• Fully participate and learn alongside their same-age peers in general education instruction based on the general curriculum; and,
• Experience reciprocal social relationships.
Given this mission, TASH advocates for full membership, relationships, participation and learning for all students with disabilities within inclusive general education classes.
TASH values and supports diversity in the classroom and the community. We recognize the fundamental legal right to and the reciprocal benefits of inclusive education for students with and without disabilities. True inclusive education is one that can be achieved in the general education classroom where students with disabilities are learning the general education curriculum alongside their same-age peers without disabilities.
Education in general education classrooms involves more than simply physical presence; it includes access to the curriculum. Students with disabilities are entitled to be free from discrimination and to be provided equal opportunity to learn what all other students are expected to learn. These rights are ensured under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; federal civil rights law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and the Americans with Disabilities Act and their respective state constitutions, and state law.
Despite clear legal rights and numerous judicial rulings on the matter, students with disabilities continue to be isolated and separately educated, provided a diluted and inferior education and denied meaningful opportunities to learn. Therefore, the ongoing work of the Inclusive Education National Agenda Committee is to promote policy, research and effective practices that ensure inclusive educational experiences for students of all ages with the more significant disabilities.
TASH Inclusive Education Reports and Resources
TASH policy recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
TASH Inclusive Education Resolutions
The SWIFT Center (a TASH partner program) is a national technical assistance center funded by the Office of Special Education Programs to implement a model for educating general and special education students together to improve schoolwide academic outcomes.
The National Center on Inclusive Education, part of the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability.
Kids Together is staffed entirely by parent volunteers and includes information on the moral, civil, parental and legal right to inclusive education.
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services oversees federal laws and regulations pertaining to students and adults with disabilities.
Read the Obama administration’s blueprint for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as No Child Left Behind.
The Beach Center on Disability provides information and resources focusing on access to the general curriculum, self-determination, positive behavior support, school-wide reform, technology use and deaf-blindness.
The Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education is a statewide nonprofit dedicated to the inclusion of students with disabilities in their neighborhood schools.
The National School Boards Association has provided a downloadable administrator’s guide for addressing the over-representation of African American students in special education.
If you have any questions about TASH’s position or involvement on issues related to inclusive education, be sure to contact us.