Words of Inclusion

A glossary of special education vocabulary.

Topics: Equity and Diversity, Special Education

Accommodations. Adaptations or changes to the environment or practice that allow a student with a disability the same access and opportunities as students without disabilities.

Assistive technology. Any item or piece of equipment that is used to increase, improve, or maintain the capabilities of a student with disabilities.

Behavior intervention plan (BIP). A written plan created to improve challenging behaviors within the school setting. Specific actions are determined based on results of the functional behavior assessment.

Evidence-based practices (EBPs). Instructional strategies proven by research to be of high quality and have a positive impact on students.

Free appropriate public education (FAPE). Federal protection for any child to not be excluded from any programs or activities that receive federal funding based on disability designation.

Functional behavior assessment (FBA). Process conducted by a multidisciplinary team to gather information and make determinations regarding what is causing certain challenging behaviors within a school setting. Results are used to develop a BIP.

High-leverage practices for students with disabilities (HLPs). Common practices that can be used by all teachers across content areas and grade levels to improve student outcomes.

Individualized education plan (IEP). A written plan documenting the specific supports and services that will be provided in an educational setting for a student with a disability. Required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the plan’s measurable goals are reviewed and revised each academic year.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Federal legislation that outlines how all children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education, including specifications for special education and any related services needed.

Inclusion. Providing students with disabilities with access and opportunities in general education classrooms in ways that are similar to their nondisabled peers, utilizing accommodations and modifications needed to succeed specified by their IEP.

Inclusive principal leadership (IPL). The practice of principals creating an environment in which all students, teachers, and staff are supported and valued. Inclusive principals ensure that each student’s needs are met and every student has an equitable opportunity to achieve.

Least restrictive environment (LRE). Ensuring that students with disabilities have the opportunity to learn within a general education classroom among peers as much as is appropriate, while still meeting their individual needs with any accommodations and/or modifications dictated per their IEP.

Modifications. Services or supports that alter the content and/or expectations for a student with disabilities to gain access to the general education curriculum.

Katherine Adams is a technical assistant support specialist with the CEEDAR Center at the University of Florida.

Shari Ostovar is project coordinator with the CEEDAR Center at the University of Florida.