Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 15, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971966 | Print ISBN: 9781412940504 | Online ISBN: 9781412971966| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Michele Jean Sims & Deborah L. Voltz
In education circles, the term mainstreaming became widely circulated through the implementation of Public Law 94–142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975. Although there are several definitions of mainstreaming , two aspects seem to remain constant throughout: normalization and least restrictive environment (LRE). Normalization means that children with disabilities should have school experiences as close as possible to those of nondisabled individuals. The LRE refers to the educational placement of children with disabilities. It answers the question, “Where will the students receive educational services?” The intent of Pub. L. 94–142 was that children with disabilities should be educated in a setting that was closest to normal and still meet the special needs of the individual. Therefore, one definition of mainstreaming is the practice of placing handicapped students in educational settings that best meet their needs and that best approximate the experience of nonhandicapped students. To highlight In ...