Inclusion Matters! was originally developed more than 20 years ago as a working document by the inclusion facilitators of Special School District of St. Louis County to serve as a tool to help educators and parents plan and implement inclusive education for students with disabilities.
While the core of the first edition is still grounded in effective practices, a group of invested professionals have provided incredible updates to address the changes in schools, policy and district culture. This guide is intended to be a resource for schools to use as the next step in their journey to teaching all students.
The title of this resource represents two important definitions of the word "matters":
- Inclusion Matters because it provides opportunities for peer relationships and friendships, environments for generalization and enrichment of academic skills, models of appropriate social and language skills, and typical routines. Inclusive education “matters” in the children’s neighborhood school because it prepares students with and without disabilities to live, work and play together as citizens of their community.
- Inclusion Matters are those important steps and tools that empower a team of educators and parents to develop a successful educational experience for a student with disabilities and his or her peers. This manual is a collection of those “matters” found to be critical to planning and implementing inclusive education.
We offer Inclusion Matters! as a resource to empower your team to attain the positive outcomes that inclusive education provides for individuals with disabilities.
For More Information
If you have questions about inclusive education or are seeking additional resources, contact Michelle Levi Perez in SSD's Parent Education and Diversity Awareness Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314.989.8438.
NOTE: Not all of the information in this manual will be needed to plan for an inclusive education for a particular child. We included a wealth of information so that you would have a fairly comprehensive reference. We recommend that you begin with the surveys and you can then determine which pieces of Inclusion Matters to utilize and/or where to begin. Each topic included in the student-specific planning process has a section to support it so that you can find the information you need. In addition, documents referenced are subject to change.