A Statement on the Position the NAD Takes on Full Inclusion

Key Words: Deaf Ed. Info, Documents

Type: Article

Topic: Deaf Students in Classrooms

Focus: Full Inclusion

Summary:

"'Full Inclusion,' the placement of all children with disabilities in their neighborhood schools, irrespective of their unique abilities and needs, is a popular movement and not a federal mandate. 'Full Inclusion' calls for the elimination of special schools and programs for all students with disabilities, including students who are deaf and hard of hearing. The movement towards 'full inclusion' is being conducted with complete disregard for the provision of essential services, based upon a comprehensive assessment of each child, and is in direct violation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In the case of many deaf and hard of hearing children, 'full inclusion' creates language and communication barriers that are potentially harmful, and consequently deny many of these children an education in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)." (p. 23)

"The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), does not support 'full inclusion' and is opposed to elimination of, or restrictions on the use of , placements mandated by the 'Full Continuum of Alternative Placements' regulation of the IDEA. While the regular classroom in the neighborhood school may be the appropriate placement for some deaf and hard of hearing students, for many it is not. The NAD is committed to preserving and expanding the use of the 'Full Continuum of Alternative Placements' to ensure that each deaf or hard of hearing child receives a quality education in an appropriate environment." (p. 23)

"In essence, the NAD believes that ALL deaf and hard of hearing children are entitled to a free and appropriate education (FAPE), in an environment that enhances their intellectual, social, and emotional development. The NAD also believes that direct and uninhibited communication access to all facets of a school's programming is essential if a deaf or hard of hearing child is to realize his or her full human potential." (p. 23)

"The NAD believes this Department of Education Policy Guidance must be followed and that placement decisions must be based on a determination of what is appropriate for the individual child. Placement of all deaf and hard of hearing children in regular education classrooms, in accordance with 'full inclusion' doctrine, is a blatant violation if IDEA with serious consequences for many deaf and hard of hearing children. The NAD is therefore compelled to call upon the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education, to significantly increase scrutiny of educational restructuring at the state and local levels and to insure compliance with the law. The NAD also calls upon state departments of education and local school districts to adhere to the law, and to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing children do not become victims of a movement rooted in ideology rather than empiricism." (p. 23)

Reference:

NAD Board of Directors. (1994, November). NAD position statement of full inclusion. The NAD Broadcaster, 16(11), 23.

Grace Shanafelt/K.S.U. Student/Deaf Ed. Major