Chris Millner

Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Paper

Superseded Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Special Education

Colleges & School

College Of Education And Leadership

First Advisor

Sister Gabrielle Kowalski, O.S.F.

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Special education; High school students; Cognition disorders; Inclusive education


The way that students with cognitive disabilities have been supported has evolved in this country over time. Schools and other service facilities that support these students have changed. In the past, students with disabilities were not allowed the same opportunities to learn as students without disabilities. These students were placed in alternative schools or self-contained classrooms. Today, the placement of students in schools varies, as students are either in self-contained classrooms, or placed in inclusive classes with their non-disabled peers for all or part of the school day. The shift towards a more inclusive classroom setting for students with special needs stems from the desire to educate students with disabilities within the least restrictive environment (LRE). LRE is an important principle of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The intent of IDEA is to provide accommodations or modifications for students with disabilities to help them access the general education curriculum and meet their needs within the LRE which is constantly changing the way classrooms are setup to effectively meet student’s needs. The least restrictive environment is the environment in which students with special needs receive their education in general education settings with students of the same age who do not have a disability.


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