Abstract

In 1975, federal law mandated that children with disabilities be educated in their least restrictive environment, or alongside peers without disabilities in general education classrooms to the maximum extent appropriate. More than 40 years later, I investigated how national trends in educational placement have changed over time for students with intellectual disability. Specifically, I examined the degree placements have trended toward less restrictive environments. I found historical trends of incremental progress toward less restrictive settings, but no evidence of such progress in recent years. Furthermore, most students were educated predominantly in segregated settings every year. I discuss how these findings relate to previous studies, as well as implications for individualized education program teams and advocates for educational inclusion.

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