PROVIDING STUDENTS WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES ACCESS TO THE GENERAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM

Olson, A. et al. | Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, vol. 41, no. 3, 2016, pp. 143-157

This study is a mixed-methods case study of a school recognized for its exemplary inclusive education practices. The authors asked how educational personnel in this school ensured students with severe disabilities were given access to the general education curriculum (i.e., the same curriculum taught to students without disabilities). The authors identify specific instructional and curriculum practices and highlight the importance of collaboration among various educational professionals.

The authors found that collaboration was an essential factor in providing truly inclusive education to students with severe disabilities. “Collaboration occurred among individuals in various roles including general education teachers, learning strategists, educational assistants, the special education chair, district staff, inclusion support teachers, the principal, students’ parents, and outside stakeholders. Collaboration promotes better communication, consistency for the students and access to a range of professional skills and knowledge.