Graduation Date


Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Humanities and Cultural Studies

Department or Program Chair

Chase Clow, PhD.

First Reader

Katherine Lewis, PhD


The right to an equal education for students with disabilities is not something that has been available to all children until recently. In 1975, the passing of Public Law 94-142 started the movement of social justice and inclusion for all people with diverse learning abilities to receive equal access to an education. This law has been restructured and is currently known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004). Through this law, there are a growing number of students with disabilities (physical, learning, and intellectual) who are being placed in the least restrictive environment and spend most, if not all, of the day in a general education classroom. By looking at the history and understanding the policies and mandates that have generated the inclusion movement (for example, IDEA, Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and No Child Left Behind), this paper will define inclusive education. By exploring teaching practices and methods, this paper will also discuss how teachers can accommodate diverse learners in their classrooms. This paper hopes to bring awareness and highlight the benefits inclusive education facilitates so teachers, educators, parents, and everyone within the school community, and society at large, can be more accepting and accommodating to people with different learning abilities.