Date of Award

5-1994

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Special Education and Rehabilitation

First Advisor

Barbara J. Fiechtl

Abstract

Federal and state legislation (i.e., PL 94-142 combined with PL 99-457) Provide for a free and appropriate education for children with disabilities, between the ages of three and 21, in settings with or in close proximity to children without disabilities (Edmister & Ekstrand, 1987; Odom & McEvoy, 1988; Radonovich & Houck, 1990; Salisbury, 1990). Settings in close proximity to children without disabilities are referred to as the least restrictive environment {LRE). The LRE provision requires educational agencies to ensure children with disabilities are, to the maximum extent appropriate, educated with children who are developing typically (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1990). The legislation communicates a clear preference for integration; however, the federal mandate permits state and local education agencies the right to interpret the LRE processes to meet the needs of individual children (Edmister & Ekstrand, 1987; Salisbury, 1990; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1990). This can leave service providers with a lot of confusion.

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