Inclusive Education and the Benefits for ALL students

This session will be moderated by April Regester, Assistant Professor Special Education, University of Missouri, St. Louis.


TASH Inclusive Education Town Hall

Inclusive Education and the Benefits for ALL Students

Students with disabilities are entitled to be free from discrimination, and are to be provided with equal opportunity to learn what other students are expected to learn. This town hall will explore what high quality inclusive education looks like and the benefits to students with and without disabilities.  In addition, we will discuss fundamental needs for communication for every student, and how Least Restrictive Environment decisions can support student outcomes.

Setting the Stage: What does high quality inclusion look like and how do we scale up pockets of excellence to all children and schools? 

Scenario presentation by the TASH Inclusive Education Committee Members

The TASH Inclusive Education Committee develops and implements actions in an annual work plan to increase the placement of students with disabilities in inclusive education settings and use of high quality inclusive education practices as intended in IDEA and NCLB.

Consideration of Question #1: How do we ensure that every child has achieved communication competence by age 5?

Jacqueline Kearns, University of Kentucky
Communication is the foundation of learning for all children; it is essential to the development of the whole child.  Dr. Kearns will discuss the importance of and steps required to ensure that all students have effective communication by age 5, including current research from the field.

Consideration of Question #2: How can descriptive measures be used by schools so that their LRE reflects an equitable education that assures participation and progress in the general education curriculum in the age-appropriate, general education classroom? 

Tonia Ferguson, Vice President External Affairs, Autism Society
Ms. Ferguson will share her perspective on building equitable educational opportunities from both her personal and professional experience.

Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Vice Provost for Faculty, Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Holcomb-McCoy will speak about the current state of research on equity in education.  She will also share data to help illustrate the significant disparities for students of color, English language learners, and students with disabilities.

Consideration of Question #3: What would it take to get quality instruction in every classroom for every student? 

Kurt Schneider, Assistant Superintendent for Learning, Community Consolidated School District 181 in Hinsdale, IL
Dr. Schneider will speak directly from his experience as a district administrator working to create schoolwide change.  He will share his insights into the practical aspects of creating school climates that support all students.

 Connie Garner, Policy Director/Practice Leader, Foley Hoa
Ms. Garner will bring a systems perspective to the conversation, answering the question: how does federal, state and local policy influence this work.

Invited Federal Panel

Melody Musgrove, Director, Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education
Catherine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary, Office of Civil Rights, US Department of Education
Rebecca Cokley, Executive Director, National Council on Disability
Deb Delisle, Assistant Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, US Department of Education