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Topical Resources

There are numerous resources available to anyone hoping to learn more about the legal, technical, and practical aspects of making inclusive education a reality. It's just a matter of finding them! Check out some of the links we find useful (linkes are to external sites and will open in new windows):

School Leadership

Administrators play a critical role in creating school environments that meet the needs of diverse learners. These resources are intended to help them successfully support inclusive practices in their schools.

Principal Preparedness to Support Students With Disabilities and Other Diverse Learners: A Policy Forum Proceedings Document by Project Forum by Dr. Paula Burdette. This report was part of Project Forum at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.  It details findings of an educational focus group that identified administrative challenges and addressed them through practical solutions. 

The Principal's Responsibilities in Supporting Quality Instruction, prepared by Stetson & Associates, Inc. by Inclusive Schools Network.This resource describes the principal's role in ensuring quality education for all learners and tips for creating an effective leadership strategy.

Promoting Principal Leadership for the Success of Students with Disabilitiesfrom the CEEDAR Center. This document is intended primarily for chief state school officers, and their state education agency (SEA) staff. Its ultimate goal is to provide SEAs with steps and methods to promote practices for effective principal leadership where all students have an equitable chance to succeed. Its primary focus is students with disabilities.

Promises to Keep: Transforming Educator Preparation to Better Serve a Diverse Range of Learners, from the CEEDAR Center. This document covers educator preparation. Struggling learners, including students with disabilities, can succeed in meeting college- and-career-ready standards only if educators are prepared to meet their needs. This document details actions states can take to produce teachers and leaders who have the ability to teach a diverse range of learners. The intended audience of this document are chief state school officers and their state education agencies.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Differentiated Instruction (DI)

UDL and DI are not the same. Below are some resources to help school districts take the journey to creating curricula that are accessible to ALL students, thereby reducing the need for laborious curriculum adaptations. While doing so, teachers will still need to differentiate their instruction for the particular learners they have in their classes each year.

About UDL by CAST. This informational post describes Universal Design for Learning and explains its benefits in the classroom. It also provides access to "Teacher-Friendly UDL Tools" and information on addressing specific classroom needs (including recognition, engagement, and expression).

Differentiated Instruction in the Classroom by The IRIS Center and NICHCY. In addition to describing differentiation and listing several implementation strategies, this post explains and links to an interactive module devised by the IRIS center to help educators better understand the step-by-step process of transitioning to a differentiated instruction framework.

21st Century Concepts — Differentiated Instruction and UDL by Tom Perran. This teacher-created archive allows educators to browse DI and UDL resources and choose among them. The rotation includes videos, graphics, and articles with information and strategies for effective classroom practices.

Research Studies

"for students with mild disabilities, the inclusive school programs in the six participating districts provide an instructional experience that is at least as good, and in many cases better than the education these students would receive in a traditional school setting. It can also be concluded that clear achievement benefits accrue to students without disabilities who receive their education in inclusive general education classrooms." (Waldron & Cole, 2000)


Guides for Parents

Families who have a child with a disability have a right to know their options when advocating for their child. These resources will help parents and guardians more comfortably interact with the school about their child's needs.

Everyone Belongs in Our Schools: A Parent's Handbook by the British Columbia Association for Community Living. This handbook explains the purpose and benefits of inclusive education. It also differentiates the rights and roles — of students, parents, and schools — in supporting a student's educational progress. Though specific legal and policy documents vary by country and geographical location, this handbook provides an overview of inclusive education and helps parents better understand the process.

IEP Resources Pinterest Page by NICHCY. Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are critical to a student's educational progress. This evolving archive of resources helps self-advocates and parents of young students better navigate the IEP process. The featured resources include articles and tools to guide parents through the legal and practical aspects of their child's IEP.

Parent Primer — Placing Special Needs Children in the Inclusive Class by The Inclusive Class. This resource addresses common parental questions and concerns about inclusive education. It includes information for identifying whether your child's classroom is inclusive and for understanding how you, as a parent, can stay involved.

Paraprofessional Resources

Individualized instruction and supports for students with disabilities are sometimes provided by paraprofessionals under the guidance of the special and/or general education teacher in the general education classroom. These resources address common questions about the roles paraprofessionals can play in a student's education. Below are links to several articles written by Michael Giangreco of the University of Vermont, and his colleagues:

Perspectives of Students with Intellectual Disabilities About Their Experiences with Paraprofessional Support

"Be Careful What You Wish for...": Five Reasons to be Concerned About the Assignment of Individual Paraprofessionals

Addressing the Paraprofessional Dilemma in an Inclusive School: A Program Description

School-Based Screening to Determine Overrelicance on Paraprofessionals

Topical Resources

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