Impact: Feature Issue on Inclusive Education for K-8 Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities

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An issue in the Impact series that examines K-8 inclusive education. Historically, students with the most significant cognitive disabilities were often taught only functional skills in our K-12 schools — how to do self-care, tell time, use money, carry out routine daily tasks. But several laws, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), have affirmed that students with disabilities have the right to access the grade-level curriculum. Today, we know how much more students can learn when provided with the opportunity, and growing numbers of families, educators, and students are advocating for higher expectations and a more inclusive educational experience.

What does it look like when schools transition to more inclusive and rigorous education for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities? This issue of Impact explores inclusive education through the perspectives of researchers, teachers, education administrators, students, and parents. They share knowledge, skills, experiences, and resources that can help K-8 schools nationwide support the learning and inclusion of all students.

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