Special education inclusion means the participation of special education students in regular education classes and the provision of support services to these students. The main goal of inclusive education is that all students in a school, regardless of their strengths and weaknesses in any area, become part of the school community. Each student develops a sense of belonging with other students, teachers and support staff. In segregated special education, children will not learn how to function in a world without disabilities. For example, children who are communicationally disabled and are emotionally distressed would not communicate and may remain in a more emotionally disturbed state in segregated settings. The Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) makes it mandatory for schools to educate children with disabilities in general education classrooms.
The main benefit of inclusion in special education is that both disabled and non-disabled students are brought together in an environment of togetherness. Children learn to accept individual differences in inclusive education and this would lead to the development of new friendly relationships. Inclusion education also allows parents to actively participate in their children’s education. The law also states that students with disabilities have a legal right to attend regular classes and receive an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. While the benefits are many, inclusive education creates uncertainty about the roles and responsibilities of regular classroom teachers and special education teachers. However, research shows that inclusive education can be made effective by healthy collaboration between special education teachers and regular teachers. With the assistance of the services that would be available from the health department, physical education department, occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc., the school administration can help teachers develop active lesson plans for inclusion education. Thus schools can create a cooperative learning environment and promote socialisation.