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Benefits and Limitations to Incusion

Page history last edited by Jennifer Lowe 14 years, 8 months ago

 Benefits and Limitations to Inclusion


The Inclusion movement sparked with the Regular Education Initiative (REI) of the 1970s and 1980s and the modification of PL 94-142, The Individuals With Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 1990. IDEA mandated that all children need to be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), which meant that children needed to be educated with their non-disabled peers to the greatest extent possible.  However, there has been an ongoing debate about whether inclusion is appropriate for some population of students, deaf students are one of these special populations.


In this article, Nowel & Innes (1997) mention the possible benefits of placing deaf students in an inclusion setting. The list of possible benefits are stated below:

  1. If the deaf child attends his homeschool, the deaf child will be able to live at home. (It is typical for students who attend residential schools to live on campus, in the dorms especially if there home is more than 30 miles away from the campus).
  2. By including deaf students in the general education classroom, they are provided with the opportunity to socialize with hearing peers, which will help them develop important life-long communication skills with the hearing world.
  3. Deaf students who are placed in an inclusion setting have the "opportunity for learning the standards of the hearing world. Students who are deaf and attend schools for children who hear may be able to master the norms of hearing society better than those who are immersed in the culture of a special school for students who are deaf" (Nowell & Innes, 1997, p. 2)
  4. Deaf students who attend a public school might be exposed to a wider variety of academic and/or vocational programs.

Nowell and Innes (1997) also discuss the possible limitations of placing a child in an inclusive setting.

  1. There is a possibility that the deaf child might feel isolated from teachers, peers, and other members of the school community.
  2. The opportunities for direct instruction are limited. Most students who are placed in an inclusive setting receive information via an interpreter. This means that they are receiving instruction that has been translated.
  3. The opportunity for socializing with peers and professional scould be significantly limited if an interpreter is not available. (Deaf students would need an interpreter to effectively communicate with peers, teachers, principals, counselors, etc.) Without the aid of an interpreter, some deaf children would not have access to these essential components of school life. 
  4. Their may be limited access and/or availability to qualified support staff.



Nowell, R. & Innes, J. (1997). Educating children who are deaf or hard of hearing: Inclusion. Reston,VA: ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED414675.


Posted by:  Jennifer Lowe on July 4, 2009.


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