Developing IEPs that Support Inclusive Education for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities
Ricki Sabia, Martha L. Thurlow, and Sheryl S. Lazarus
Sabia, R., Thurlow, M. L., & Lazarus, S. S. (2020, January). Developing IEPs that support inclusive education for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities (Brief #3). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, TIES Center.
This issue of NASET’s IEP Component series comes from the TIES Center. The IEP team must consider the general education classroom in the student’s home school first before considering a more restrictive placement such as a special education class. The goal for the IEP team is to determine the least restrictive environment in which the student can be educated satisfactorily. It should be difficult to overcome the presumption that students should be educated in the general education classroom. Simply being behind peers in progress in the curriculum is not a reason to move a student to a more restrictive setting. “Restrictiveness” in LRE decisions relates to the amount of time spent with nondisabled students in the general education classroom or other general education environments (e.g., study hall). That is why the general education classroom is considered less restrictive than a special education classroom. The type of support a student may need, such as an aide in the general education classroom, does not make the setting more restrictive. Similarly, “LRE requirements apply to transition services, including employment-related transition services, and apply equally to the employment portion of the student’s program and placement.” There are many resources available for parents, but not all focus specifically on ensuring that the IEP is written in a way that supports inclusion in the general education curriculum and classroom. The purpose of this issue of NASET’s IEP Component series is to identify specific ways in which the IEP can be written to support inclusion.