Inclusion

The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville believes and advocates for inclusion in the community and in school for individuals with differing abilities. Thanks to laws such as The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), those with Down syndrome have been successfully included in local schools since our inception. DSAJ subsidizes Inclusion Consultant Fees through our Inclusion Program.

Inclusion in school can be defined as placing a student with a differing ability in a general education setting along with supports and services to insure a successful outcome. A special educator is typically involved as a consultant or co-teacher for part or all of the day.

Research over the last 20+ years supports positive outcomes for both those with and without differing abilities in the classroom. There is no research reporting negative side effects.

If you need advice on choosing the right path for your child, please contact the DSAJ at info@dsaj.org, and one of the Inclusion Specialists will get back to you ASAP.




Students with differing abilities in inclusion settings benefit from:

  • greater access to the general curriculum.
  • improved reading performance.
  • increased social opportunities and appropriate role models.
  • higher expectations resulting in increased achievement of IEP goals.
  • increased skill acquisition and generalization opportunities.
  • enhanced parent participation.
  • greater opportunities to be integrated into the community (the same goes for their families), fostering a sense of belonging and friendships with neighborhood peers.
  • increased self-respect and confidence.
  • preparation for adult life in an inclusive society.
  • higher employment rate (for disabled high school students).

Typically developing students in inclusion settings benefit from:

  • greater academic outcomes, particularly in math.
  • smaller class sizes and more organized classrooms.
  • increased application of learning strategies beneficial to all students.
  • enhanced feelings of self-esteem from mentoring students with needs.
  • increased appreciation of oneself and acceptance that all people have unique qualities.
  • increased sensitivity regarding the limitations of others.
  • enhanced respect and empathy for all people.
  • strong socialization and collaborative skills.
  • preparation for adult life in an inclusive society.

Links and Resources