Is Inclusion Economical?

Written by Dr. Betty Patten

Inclusion can be more cost-effective than special education for a few reasons:

  1. Shared resources: Inclusive education allows for the sharing of resources such as classrooms, instructional materials, and support staff, which can reduce costs for schools and educational systems.

  2. General education teachers: Inclusive education allows for the use of general education teachers rather than specialized staff, which can save costs for hiring and training specialized staff.

  3. Avoiding segregation: Inclusive education can help to avoid the costs of building and maintaining separate schools or classrooms for individuals with disabilities, which can be expensive.

  4. Long-term savings: Inclusive education can lead to improved academic outcomes and increased chances of success in post-school life for individuals with disabilities, which can lead to long-term savings on social welfare and other support services.

  5. Increased participation: Inclusion can increase participation in the workforce and the community for individuals with disabilities, which can lead to increased economic productivity and revenue for society.

It's important to note that inclusion requires some investments in terms of accommodations, training and support for teachers, staff, and peers, but it can bring long-term benefits not only for individuals with disabilities but also for society as a whole.

Research also shows that inclusive education can improve the academic outcomes and social skills of all students, not just those with disabilities. This can lead to a more inclusive and accepting society and a more educated and productive workforce, which can have a positive impact on the economy.

Overall, inclusion can be cost-effective in the long run as it not only addresses the rights of individuals with disabilities but also leads to a more inclusive, educated and productive society.

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