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Functional Inclusion

Functional inclusion is a process that is used in educational settings to address the instructional and social needs of individuals with developmental disabilities by delivering meaningful and relevant services in regular education classrooms. This entry describes the contextual history of inclusion in educational settings; introduces the main advocacy organization that shapes, supports, and defines functional inclusion; and provides examples of inclusive classroom accommodations that can be used in educational settings.

Since the 1990s, U.S. public schools have moved from servicing children, adolescents, and young adults with developmental disabilities in separate special education classes to more integrated and inclusive experiences in the regular education classroom. The origin of this movement was initiated decades before and was called “mainstreaming.” Mainstreaming was implemented by servicing students in the special ...

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