Legal Basis of Inclusive Education

The law requires that schools are adapted for students with disabilities and that they ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities. The law establishes a National Inclusive Education System which will include the provision of supports, services, and technical assistance for students with disabilities in order to facilitate their learning processes. It also states that schools should create an educational inclusion plan, which will define how they will provide support services such as occupational therapy or adapted transport.

In addition to this federal law, many states have laws or regulations regarding inclusive education. For example in Jalisco state, article 57 of its general law on rights of persons with disabilities establishes that children with disabilities have a right to receive inclusive education in public schools.

Inclusive education is an ongoing process and is a way for schools to address barriers to learning, participation and development that students with disabilities can face in education settings. With inclusive education, children with disabilities attend mainstream schools and are provided with the necessary support to learn alongside their peers without disabilities.

The full development of human potential and sense of dignity and self-worth, and the strengthening of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and human diversity; The development by persons with disabilities of their personality, talents and creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities, to their fullest potential; Enabling persons with disabilities to participate effectively in a free society.”

The legal basis for inclusive education can be found in multiple pieces of legislation.  The first is the Education Act, which states that “every child has a right to education” (Education Act, 1996).  The second is the Children’s Rights Convention, which says that “all children must be treated equally, regardless of their differences” (Children’s Rights Convention, 1989).  Finally, there is the Declaration on Social Justice, which states that all children have an equal opportunity to learn and grow (Declaration on Social Justice, 1989).

The rights-based part ensures that every child can access education regardless of the circumstances they face. This is the right to education provisioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right to non-discrimination under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and other international agreements related to children.

The equality-based part ensures that all students can receive a quality education by eliminating discrimination in areas such as gender, race, or disability. The basis for this is laid out in international agreements such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The legal basis of inclusive education makes it a must for students with disabilities to be educated in regular schools. This law was passed in 1975 and it is known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA). The EHA law has been amended and improved upon over time. It is now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

This law states that all children have a right to an education that will prepare them for their futures and participation in society. The IDEA law applies to all public and private schools that receive federal funding.

In fact, the law prohibits school districts from unnecessarily placing a student into a more restrictive setting. For example: If a student can function in a general education classroom with minimal supports and services, that student cannot be placed in a more restrictive setting such as a self-contained classroom or another segregated setting.

The legal basis of inclusive education is a complex and varied one. In the United States, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that all school districts provide special education services to students who require them. IDEA also requires that disabled students be educated alongside their non-disabled counterparts to the maximum extent possible and provides for accommodations to be made in order to make this happen.

In addition to IDEA, the Americans with disabilities Act mandates that schools must provide equal access to disabled students but does not require that they be educated alongside their able-bodied peers.

The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination against disabled students as well as other individuals and provides for accommodations for those with disabilities if needed.

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