Inclusion refers to the practice whereby students with disabilities are enrolled in general education classes and receive any needed special education services within that setting. Inclusion can be full or partial. In a full inclusion situation, students receive all educational services within the general education classroom, including their special education and related services, so that they are not removed from that environment. In a partial inclusion situation, students are removed from general education only when it is necessary so that they can receive needed special education services. This entry describes the background of inclusion and looks at pertinent judicial decisions.


The terms least restrictive environment, inclusion, and mainstreaming are often confused but are distinct. The difference between inclusion and mainstreaming is one of degree and philosophy. ...

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