The concept of least restrictive environment : implications for implementation

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dc.contributor.advisor Strom, Merle T. (Merle Thomas), 1916- en_US Mittendorf, William Edwin, 1941- en_US 2011-06-03T19:29:09Z 2011-06-03T19:29:09Z 1978 en_US 1978
dc.identifier LD2489.Z64 1978 .M58 en_US
dc.description.abstract The study was designed to facilitate realization of two major purposes. The first purpose was to trace the historical development of the concept of "least restrictive environment." The second purpose of the study was to identify implementation considerations inherent in the concept for public school officials and administrators.A documentary research procedure was used to accomplish the purposes of the study. A review of federal legislation and related literature was made to trace the historical development of least restrictive environment. A review and analysis of federal legislation, court decisions, and related literature were made to identify the considerations which must guide school officials to insure that handicapped children will be provided fair and appropriate placement to receive educational programs and services in a setting consistent with and supportive of the concept of least restrictive environment.The earliest federal legislation providing educational and maintenance care for handicapped persons was passed in 1827. Federal legislation passed during the period from 1827 to 1965 reflected the then current social philosophy that handicapped individuals should be segregated from the general public and be served in separate "asylums." Federal legislation designed to mandate educational and/or maintenance care for handicapped persons passed during the period from 1967 through 1975 has reflected the developing philosophy that handicapped persons have the same civil and human rights as nonhandicapped persons, particularly as such rights relate to educational programs and services.The concept of "least restrictive environment," as described by law, means that handicapped children must be educated in the most normal setting feasible; must be educated, to the maximum extent appropriate, with nonhandicapped students; must be given access and opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities; and regular and special education programs must be physically accessible to handicapped students.Findings of the study show that handicapped students have the same legal right to a free, tax-supported education as do nonhandicapped students. When considering educational programs and services to be provided handicapped children, the basic assumption must be that the child can best be accommodated in a regular classroom setting. If and as school officials secure hard evidence that a handicapped child cannot be served adequately in a regular classroom setting, special programs and support services, as may be appropriate, must be developed for the student. Public school officials have a legal obligation to provide whatever specialized instruction is required for the child. A lack of funds does not relieve school officials from the obligation to provide needed special education. When considering any change of placement for a child, due process procedures must be followed. Educational programs and services given must be designed to help the handicapped student develop behavioral patterns acceptable in the community. Therefore special education programs and services should be organized in such a way as to provide extensive opportunities to interact with the community. Entrance requirements, such as standardized tests, which discriminate against handicapped students, may not be used to determine eligibility for participation in a specific program unless school officials can demonstrate that the entrance requirement is necessary to successful completion of the specific program.It is clear that even though federal legislation has mandated that educational programs for handicapped children, the judicial branch of government has provided the directives and guidelines which have resulted in the implementation of programs for the handicapped.The concept of least restrictive environment is as much a philosophical attitude as it is a legal definition. The least restrictive environment involves an emotional acceptance of handicapped students as well as a physical acceptance of handicapped students into a particular building or classroom. en_US
dc.format.extent iv, 60 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Special education. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Educational law and legislation. en_US
dc.title The concept of least restrictive environment : implications for implementation en_US Thesis (D. Ed.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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