Including the Excluded

October 17, 2016

Including the Excluded

Darin Exstrom


     Teachers see different characteristics for different students on every different day.  We all see that each student is unique and some students have those differences that are categorized as disabilities.  In the past, these students with disabilities were treated more poorly than they are now.  They were generally excluded from schools and put into institutions.  Little effort was made at these institutions to educate these people.  It wasn’t until the last 100 years that we have seen significant changes for people with disabilities in the U.S. 

These changes came a little earlier in Europe, as early as 1760, with authors like Charles Dickens writing about inhumane conditions and the compassion that could be seen in those people considered to have disabilities.  Anyhow, the U.S. government continued to push toward ideas of equality after the Civil Rights Movement in the 1970s when they issued the Education for All Handicapped Children's Act of 1974 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  These two important works laid out what an appropriate education for an individual with disabilities should look like in the U.S.  These documents stress the importance of including students in the least restrictive environment possible to be successful. 

            It is the challenge for the teachers at LHS and other schools to reach all students.  Unfortunately, it can never be a perfect process solving a math problem correctly.  There are sometimes funding difficulties or prioritizing time to help specific students.  However, we can get close and use research to set up situations that will probably be successful.  Integrating students with disabilities in with general education peers has only been abundant since 1997 and has shown some promising results.  LHS and multitudes of other schools are including those students with disabilities that were excluded in the past.  Teachers are figuring out how to help all students and many times coach students to help other students whether they are disabled or not.  

Work Cited

   Special Education. (2016). Retrieved from Wikipedia on October 16, 2016 from