A look at this process, designed to mainstream young people and adults with disabilities into society. Persuasive research paper in favor of inclusion in schools.
“Five and a half million children in schools today can be categorized as disabled. This counts for 11-12% of the school population. Additionally, the US Department of Education spends at least thirty billion dollars annually on special education, which accounts for 22% of total education spending (Staples 64). Inclusion, though not defined by law, is commonly known as the process by which young people and adults with disabilities and/or handicaps are mainstreamed into society. It is an attitude/belief system rather than an action or set of actions. As defined in Richard A. Villa and Jacqueline S. Thousand’s book, Creating An Inclusive School, inclusion is `a way of life, a way of living together, based on a belief that each individual is valued and does belong` (6). Inclusion has provoked strong and often differing opinions within both general and special education. Critics disagree with the expected success of inclusive practices. However, inclusive education creates a sense of community, promotes equality in the classroom, and provides strategies to include learning disabled students successfully. Therefore, inclusion is beneficial to all students and must be recognized as educational reform that will result in a successful organizational change toward inclusion.”