Description:  This project is a collaboration between theMissouri Development Disabilities Council and the UMKC  Institute for Human Development (IHD) to improveinclusive school outcomes for students with disabilities in inclusive educational settings. The overarching goal for this project is to increase the number of students with intellectual/developmental disabilities by 20% receiving an inclusive education more than 80% of their day through a focus on general education and special education teachers.


Project Contacts:             Ronda Jenson, 816.235.6335,

Project Period:                 2013-2016

Project Funding:             $452,017.01

Funding Source:             Missouri Development Disabilities Council


Core Functions

Applied Research:  The Institute has developed a system for teachers that addresses inclusionary practice and works to strengthen class membership, social-emotional and academic progress and enriched participation.  This is accomplished through a framework of professional development, individualized coaching, and implementation quality observations.

Community Services and Supports: This statewide project involves general and special educators in local education agencies who teach in inclusive settings.  Parent perception of their child’s quality of time spent in an inclusive classroom is also a critical variable in this project.

Information Dissemination:This project utilizes a variety of training and information materials that are delivered in a variety of formats, including person-to-person, virtual, and on the project website. In addition, parents and school administration will receive information on the project.

Interdisciplinary Personnel Preparation: Training for general and special educators is the purpose of the project.  Using the professional development materials developed by the IHD, regional special and general educators will implement specific effective practices in their classrooms and will engage in follow-up coaching to improve implementation fidelity and quality.  Additionally, the teachers will attend 2 shared learning days each year in addition to the 6 days of individualized coaching.  There will be an emphasis on of collaboration between general education and special education teachers in order to produce a supportive classroom context.


Program Need and Historical Context

Missouri’s special education placements for school-aged students with disabilities has shown minimal increases in the percent of students being educated with their nondisabled peers. The state target for 12-13 of children with IEPs inside the regular class 80% or more of the day is 59.5%. To meet this target, there is a robust need for improving inclusion in schools.  The inclusive context should be grounded in evidence-based research related to improving instructional practice.  Quality placement decisions and least restrictive environments are emphasized in a variety of ways, and the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council aims to advocate for and build capacity to increase the number of youth with developmental disabilities who receive inclusive education that results in an increased sense of belonging and sense of class membership. The ISCP is working to meet this.  Thus, the Institute will work to provide the resources and training on evidence based practices and strategies for improving performance children with IEPs inside the regular class 80% or more of the day is greater than 59.5%.



Consumer and Community Involvement

Involvement of family members informs and reinforces inclusion efforts by helping to maximize resources and facilitate responses to student needs.  Partnerships between teachers and parents of children with disabilities can be valuable ingredients in efforts to design and implement a meaningful placement. A framework in which parent-teacher partnerships are placed at the optimal end of a continuum of parent involvement and parentsupport will increase parent perception of their child’s placement. Parent perception surveys are in creation to determine pre/post perception of their child’s placement in an inclusive classroom as well as setting the stage for parent-teacher partnerships.


Significant Project Activities and Outcomes

During the 2013-2014 academic year,

  • 10 general education teachers and 8 special education teachers representing 4 districts received training through the ISCP.
  • 2 comprehensive professional development learning packages were developed.
  • A classroom observation scale and three levels of surveys were created.


Institute’s Role

  • The Institute is the lead in developing the professional development content and implementation practices.
  • The Institute builds the website for enhancing professional development and communication.
  • The Institute provides ongoing expertise and support through the implementation stages.
  • The Institute leads the trainings for educators.
  • The Institute develops the measurement tools for other constituents – parents and school administration.



Professional Development Learning Packages:  Academic Conversation and Deep Instructional Collaboration.

Observation of Classroom Checklist

Perception Surveys

Inclusive School Community Project website



Systems Change: Effective inclusion principles and practice are deepened at the school level through educator practice, social and academic inclusion and powerful and enriched participation.

Personnel:Statewide professional development for general and special educators.

Leveraging:State monies were leveraged to support this project.