Here is some GOOD NEWS!

We have known for a long time that inclusion in schools was good for students with disabilities but we haven’t been very good at talking about why it’s good for students without disabilities. Sure we have extolled the civic and moral benefits of inclusion but finally we are seeing research that definitively documents the academic benefits for all students inherent in an inclusive classroom.

John O’Connor journalist for the Stateimapct research study out of Florida reports that including students with disabilities in regular classroom in community school is not just good for students with disabilities, but also improves the academic outcomes for students without identified disabilities.

“Julie Causton-Theoharis has researched the effects of inclusion on students with disabilities and those without. Research shows both benefit from being in the classroom toghether, she said.”

“Researchers say those enrolment patterns matter because evidence shows both students with disabilities and students without disabilities learn more when placed in the classroom together.” and that “right now we’re pretty excited by the academic achievement gains of students with disabilities in inclusive settings. The other piece that’s a little surprising is the academic gains by students without disabilities.”

Communities, work places, and classrooms are richer, stronger and more healthful for the contribvutions of citizens with disabilites. But heck it’s good to finally see in a research project. Yah Florida!