Inclusion Resources


SBDSA has inclusion at the heart of our mission.

Inclusion isn’t only about education.

We envision a society in which people with Down syndrome and similar disabilities are included in every part of our community.

Inclusion is about belonging. It is about being a member of a community that recognizes all its members as valuable.

Inclusion isn’t about being ‘let in’.  It is about changing the environment in a way that acknowledges and values differences.

Inclusion vs Integration


Inclusion is for Everyone.

Inclusion is not only about disability – its about humanity. Our society is changing, including those who were previously excluded. What we have learned from all these social movements is that inclusion is not as easy as just letting someone join in and play in the game. It’s about changing the game – rethinking the rules so that their participation is meaningful and so that they also stand a chance of success.

In the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 USC 15001 §101(a)(1))  the U.S. Congress found that  ‘(d)isability is a natural part of the human experience that does not diminish the right of individuals with developmental disabilities to enjoy the opportunity to live independently, enjoy self-determination, make choices, contribute to society, and experience full integration and inclusion in the economic, political, social, cultural, and educational mainstream of American society.’

When students with disabilities are educated primarily in general education settings, these opportunities become far more likely. This is called an inclusive education.

An Inclusive Education

Historically, the term special education brought to mind a special place (a room or school). This educational delivery method has been evolving for the past 30 years. Now, special education is no longer limited to a specific location but can be a portable service brought to a child in their natural classroom.

A great deal of education research over the last 40 years has established that children learn best in classroom settings with their general education peers.  Studies have shown that the benefits of including children with disabilities extend to typically developing children who form lasting friendships; learn empathy and problem solving skills. These are important skills for everyone in order to be successful in life.


Resources from our speakers Patti McVay and Laurie Pachl

APPS: (a sound device to measure sound in a room) (very affective app) gives you step by step responses and strategies, resources great app this app shows you step by step about roles for each person on an IEP team


U.S Department of Education



Special Education Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network

Early Childhood

National Center on Education Outcomes

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)

National Research Center on Learning Disabilities

Parents: Family Center on Technology and Disability

Professional Development: Center for Improving Teacher Quality

Section 504 Comparison of IDEA, Section 504 and ADA

National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Inc.  Meeting the Needs of Students Who are Deaf or hard of Hearing-Educational Services guideline

Hands And Voices

5 point scales & other resources Joan Guthrie Medlen, M.Ed, RD Just released: Cooking by Color: Recipes for Independence for information and articles

Self Advocates as Leaders

Inclusive Teaching: The Journey Towards Effective Schools for All Learners (2nd Edition) J. Michael Peterson & Mishael Marie Hittie

KIDSTOGETHER.ORG for information about inclusive communities

Using Visual and Behavioral Cues in the Home: Teaching Functional Life Skills to Young Children with Autism and Other Significant Developmental Disorders, presented by Robin D. Allen, Ph.D. Published by STEP Seminars, Inc. Distributed by Woodbine House

Visual Strategies for Improving Communication: Practical Supports for School & Home Linda A. Hodgdon, M.Ed., CCC-SLP. QuirkRoberts (1995) – great resources and curriculum planning

Links to the best inclusion websites

Links to research articles on best practice

Lessons from CA districts with strong Spec Ed Academic Performance

Your toolkit for Inclusive Education

Essential Best Practices in Inclusive Schools Jorgensen, McSheehan, Schuh, Sonnenmeier

NDSS Implementing Inclusion

Co-Teaching in Michigan: Effective Strategies for General and Special Education Teachers Martel 2009

Down but not out: a tool for inclusion Rix

Responsive Teaching: Early intervention for children with Down syndrome and other disabilities Mahoney, Perales, Wiggers & Herman

DSE has many articles on evidence based teaching methods for children with DS

Universal Design for Learning

Making It Happen: Using Differentiated Instruction, Retrofit Framework, and Universal Design for Learning Barbara “Pokey” Stanford Stacy Reeves

Cast Universal Design for learning

National Center on Universal Design for Learning

Response-to-Instruction and Universal Design for Learning: How Might They Intersect in the General Education Classroom? Strangeman, Hitchcock, Hall & Meo, et al. (2006)

Aides and Assistants

Helping or Hovering? Effects of Instructional Assistant Proximity on Students with Disabilities

The Golden Rule of Providing Support in Inclusive Classrooms: Support Others as You Would Wish to Be Supported Causton-Theoharis

“Be Careful What You Wish for …”: Five Reasons to Be Concerned About the Assignment of Individual Paraprofessionals

Teacher Assistant Supports in Inclusive Schools:  Research, Practices and Alternatives Giangreco

A Guide to Schoolwide Planning for Paraeducator Supports Giangreco, Edelman, Broer

Working with families

Families and schools influence academic achievements Buckley

Parents’ attitudes to inclusion of their children with special needs Elkins, Van Kraayenoord, Jobling

Signs of an Inclusive School: A Parent’s Perspective on the Meaning and Value of Authentic Inclusion Swedeen

Links to research and articles on the benefits of Inclusion

More training conferences

Segregated classrooms

Full inclusion Charter Schools

Accommodation and Modification suggestions

The Law

IDEA 2000 Sec. 300.116 Placements (Very useful bit of law to have with you in an IEP.)


Information on Least Restrictive Environment

US Department of Education Policy Statement on Inclusion of children in early education

Cases supporting placement in general education environment

Sacramento vs Rachel H.


Pohorecki v Anthony Wayne  The IDEA does not require children be classified by their disability

T.M v Cornwall CSD ESY offer must include LRE.

Porter Vs Manhattan Beach The cost of not providing FAPE in LRE.

New legal decisions

California Department of Education and other state agencies

Common core standards, alternative assessments, diplomas and certificates

Help with IEP’s and appeals

Social media support

Other organizations that can help