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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Early Childhood Inclusion

The Departments of Education and Health and Human Services have a draft joint statement on inclusion in early childhood education.  At Disability Scoop, Michelle Diament reports:
While the majority of preschoolers with disabilities attended general early childhood programs as of 2013, more than half of these children received their special education and related services in segregated environments, the Education Department said.
Four decades after the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Obama administration is calling the current state of affairs “troubling” and is looking for change.
“Children with disabilities and their families continue to face significant barriers to accessing inclusive high-quality early childhood programs and too many preschool children with disabilities continue to receive special education services in separate settings,” reads the statement which is up for public comment through Friday.
Specifically, the federal agencies are urging states to create task forces focused on early childhood inclusion, implement policies and allocate funding to facilitate such programs and set and track goals for expanding inclusive learning opportunities.