Deaf and non-deaf students learn together in an inclusive classroom in South Dakota.
Deaf and non-deaf students learn together in an inclusive classroom in South Dakota.

Inclusive education happens when students with disabilities are able to access high-quality education while learning alongside their peers without disabilities in the schools they would attend if they did not have a disability. Inclusive education ensures that no student is segregated or excluded from general education because of their disability. Inclusive education ensures that students with disabilities have access to the same curriculum, materials, and instruction as their non-disabled peers, with the accommodations they need to learn.

How does inclusive education benefit people with disabilities?  

  • Students with disabilities have the opportunity to learn the same information and develop the same skills as their non-disabled peers.
  • Students with disabilities receive a high-quality education that suits their needs rather than a limited curriculum that often does not allow them to get a job and advance in a career.
  • Students with disabilities are included in society from an early age and are more likely to be accepted and respected as equal by fellow students who attend school with them.
  • Students with disabilities develop a greater number of personal and professional skills, develop friendships and relations with a wider variety of people, and increase their prospects of living successful and independent lives.


Can inclusive education take place at all levels of schooling?

  • Many students with disabilities need personal support and special additional help to enable them to learn and participate fully, but can still pursue inclusive education from preschool through college.

How does inclusive education change public attitudes towards with disabilities?

  • Inclusive education enables people with disabilities to be recognized as fellow students in school and provides opportunities for youth to learn and accept individual differences. Students who take part in inclusive education learn to respect people with disabilities by interacting with them as peers in an educational environment. They are then more likely to treat them as equals in their communities and in society as a whole.