The field of special education is experiencing significant reform. Much of the motivation to this reform has emerged from dissatisfaction with the separation of special schools from general schools. Hence, inclusion has emerged as a way of educating students with disabilities within the least restrictive environment. In the United States, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) authorized that students with disabilities be educated with non-disabled students, thus bringing significant changes within the education sector (Reynolds and Fletcher-Janzen 1842). Inclusion describes the practice of placing students with special needs first into the general education system and only moving toward a more restrictive setting if the students cannot benefit educationally from the general education classroom (Guzzetti 339). .
According to the model on inclusion, special education students should attend school with their grade and age peers in the regular education classroom as opposed to being pulled out of the regular classroom settings to receive special services. Inclusion represents an important stage in a progressive movement to educate learners who are atypical cognitively, socially, or physically to the maximum extent possible with non-exceptional students. Whereas systemic unity is essential for general education and specialized education services to support and complement each other, there are arguments against the integration of special education students in general education classes. Hence, recent inclusion initiatives have generated much controversial debates along with closer scrutiny of the dramatic policy shift. Advocates claim that the inclusion of special education students in general education classes works; opponents, however, claim that inclusion does not work.
Inclusion has attracted a plethora of diverse attitudes and beliefs as the society tries to digest the system of involvement of disabled students into the general system of education.