Since inclusive education began in the mid-1980s people have asked “how do you know it if you see it?” If you walked into an “inclusive classroom” what would you see the general education teacher doing? How would the desks be arranged? How is the student with the disability participating? What are the children saying to one another? If there is a paraprofessional what is she doing? Take a look at these Best Practice Indicators and see if you think that it describes the indicators of real inclusion. Is there anything missing? How might you use this document to promote inclusion in your schools?
TASH thanks Cheryl Jorgensen, Ph.D., for this guest blog post and for making Essential Best Practices for Inclusive Schools available for TASH members free of charge. Cheryl is the Project Director for the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. She is also one of the webinar hosts for TASH’s 2011 series on Building Inclusive High School Communities. Details on Cheryl’s webinar and others can be found at https://tash.org/webinar.