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Why Is Inclusion Important to Students with Disabilities? 

academic support appreciation friendships inclusion students with disabilities understanding Aug 01, 2022

Inclusive education is a term referring to the integration of students with disabilities with the general-education, public school population. Inclusive settings provide a better quality of education for all learners and allows students to learn alongside each other in the classroom, without exclusion due to ability level. 

In this setting, educators modify the general-education curriculum to accommodate all learners, working to help develop the skills necessary to live a purposeful and meaningful life. 

          

Increased Academic Skills 

When students with disabilities are placed in an inclusive classroom setting to learn alongside their non-disabled peers, higher expectations for academic performance are set. 

Initially, teachers were skeptical if this strategy for learning would be an advantage or a drawback for students with disabilities. 

However, many studies on inclusion indicate that students have an increase in academic performance after learning in an inclusive setting. 

Students with disabilities become extremely motivated by the work and successes that they see in their non-disabled classmates, which motivates them to work harder to receive the same praise. They are inspired by the role models around them and work hard to maintain that same level of achievement. 

 

The following supports are used to make inclusive education engaging and successful for all learners: 

  • Differentiated instruction (auditory, visual, kinesthetic) 
  • Accommodated/modified curriculum 
  • Special education resources 
  • Behavioral support teams
  • Academic support teams

By utilizing these supports, inclusive education works to create a welcoming, more responsive learning environment to increase academic success for students with disabilities.

 

Prepares Students for Adult Life 

Inclusive settings prepare students for adult life, by helping to build communication skills and setting clear standards for appropriate social behavior. In these settings, students are able to observe appropriate social interactions between educators and the general-education population of students. 

As educators, you can support building communication skills by modeling the appropriate ways to communicate in the classroom:

  • Speak to students directly, by maintaining eye contact 
  • Demonstrate turn-taking in conversation 
  • Be aware of body language and how it relates to verbal communication

You can also model appropriate behaviors by: 

  • Participating in role play 
  • Communicating expectations for social scenarios 
  • Utilizing social stories 
  • Praising students who demonstrate appropriate behavior 

By implementing these strategies in the inclusive setting, you are helping to prepare students with disabilities for a successful adult life. 

 

Increased Understanding/Appreciation

By having the opportunity to learn in inclusive settings, students with disabilities are filled with a sense of belonging. 

The integration of students with and without disabilities allows for educators, school-wide staff and the general-education population to gain a greater understanding of disabilities as well as a greater appreciation of how much these students bring to the classroom and what they are capable of. 

 

 

Build Friendships 

By having the opportunity to learn in inclusive settings, students with disabilities are filled with a sense of belonging. 

The inclusive setting allows for conversation, activities and positive social interactions between all students, allowing students to learn each other's: 

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Interests 
  • Hobbies

In this ideal setting, students feel connected to their peers which allows the opportunity for strong bonds to be created that can turn into lasting friendships with one another. 

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