Federal Agencies Promote High-Quality Inclusion for Young Children With Disabilities All young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive, high-quality, early childhood programs that provide individualized and appropriate support to help them meet high expectations, according to federal health and education officials. The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) released a policy statement to ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   December 01, 2015
Federal Agencies Promote High-Quality Inclusion for Young Children With Disabilities
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Special Populations / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   December 01, 2015
Federal Agencies Promote High-Quality Inclusion for Young Children With Disabilities
The ASHA Leader, December 2015, Vol. 20, 17. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB5.20122015.17
The ASHA Leader, December 2015, Vol. 20, 17. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB5.20122015.17
All young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive, high-quality, early childhood programs that provide individualized and appropriate support to help them meet high expectations, according to federal health and education officials.
The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) released a policy statement to “set a vision and provide recommendations to states, local educational agencies, schools, and public and private early childhood programs … for increasing the inclusion of infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities in high-quality early childhood programs.”

The policy provides recommendations for increasing the inclusion of infants, toddlers and preschool children with disabilities in high-quality early education.

The ED/HHS policy statement includes the input of early learning professionals, families and other early-learning stakeholders, including ASHA. It reviews the legal foundation for inclusion and the evidence showing its benefits. It also acknowledges challenges to early-childhood inclusion—attitudes and beliefs about inclusion, interpretation of the law, lack of comprehensive services, limited resources, and the training, expertise and retention of early-childhood workers.
The statement outlines a number of recommended actions for states and local entities to ensure collaboration, sufficient funding, professional development programs, data tracking, public awareness, access to specialized supports, and other measures to promote inclusion in early-childhood programs.
The policy statement also includes links to free inclusion resources for states, families and local programs and providers.
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December 2015
Volume 20, Issue 12