Don’t You Dare Dumb it Down: Supporting High Expectations in Inclusive Classrooms

In successful inclusive classrooms, all students, including those with disability labels, are provided with high expectations as well as equitable supports to strive for those expectations. This session describes the theoretical foundation needed to realize successful inclusion for all students and the danger of lowering expectations or limiting supports. Exemplary lessons that respond to the needs of all students in an inclusive setting are shared. At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to: 1. Identify that the theoretical foundation that best facilitates successful inclusion in diverse classrooms is a combination of high expectations and supports that are highly differentiated and universally designed. 2. Explain that lowering expectations and/or providing insufficient supports are functions of, and reinforce, medical or pity models of disability. 3. Explain that lowering expectations and/or providing insufficient or inappropriate supports negatively impact student success in school as well as transition to adulthood. 4. Share specific strategies for responding to all needs in an inclusive setting, including needs of students with significant disabilities, as well as students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. 5. Implement ways to advocate for inclusion of all students in an inclusive, responsive learning environment without

Whitney Rapp, Katrina Arndt, Susan Hildenbrand, Susan  Schultz