Equity, Diversity, and Inclusionary Practices

Accessibility Guidelines: Selecting, Administering, and Evaluating Accommodations for Instruction and Assessment
This document addresses accommodation selection and accessibility decisions for instruction and statewide assessment. The action steps serve as a reference to guide the process of selecting, administering, and evaluating instructional accommodations for use by English Learners, students with disabilities, and EL students with disabilities.
Publication Date: November 2021
Publisher: Arizona Department of Education

AEM Center Brief: The Right of Students with Disabilities Who Need Accessible Educational Materials to Receive These Materials in a Timely Manner
The purpose of this brief is to help families and educators understand the right of students with disabilities who need accessible educational materials to receive these materials in a timely manner. This right is based on provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as well as in the disability civil rights statutes Section 504 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Author: Joanne Karger
Publication Date: 2021
Publisher: National Center on Accessible Educational Materials

Arizona Department of Education AT Short Term Loan Library
Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services works in partnership with Northern Arizona University Institute for Human Development Arizona Technology Access Program to make available at no cost, a wide variety of assistive technology devices, equipment, software, and professional development materials to school personnel to improve access to assistive technology.
Publisher: Arizona Department of Education

Avoiding Over-Use of Paraeducator Support for Individual Students
This article provides guiding principles for paraeducators of consistent and careful direction, training and supervision from a certified teacher, and sensitivity to the potential harm to students from over-support from so the impact of paraeducator services will be significantly increased.
Author: Frances Stetson
Publication Date: September 2015
Publisher: Inclusive Schools Network

Creating Equity for Students with Special Needs
This is an interview transcript of a high school principal, an author and education advocate for students with all types of disabilities, a former public school elementary teacher and mother of two children with special needs, and a computer teacher who discussed how to implement best practices for inclusionary education.
Publication Date: March 2020
Publisher: National Association of Secondary School Principals

Critical Components of Successful Inclusion of Students with Severe Disabilities: Literature Review
This review provides an overview of literature regarding effective practices for inclusion with a focus on critical components of successful inclusion that work effectively with students with disabilities in inclusive schools.
Authors: Turki Alquraini and Dianne Gut
Publication Date: 2012
Publisher: International Journal of Special Education

Distributed Leadership Through the Lenses of Special Education Leaders
The results of this study laid the foundation for understanding how the perceptions of distributed leadership shift over the course of careers as leaders of special education mature in leadership positions. Using the qualitative and quantitative data from this study, a continuum of distributed leadership is proposed along which three contexts are situated: planned, embedded, and natural.
Authors: Patrick Tudryn, Mary Lynn Boscardin, and Craig Wells
Publication Date: March 2016
Publisher: Journal of Special Education Leadership

Educating Students with Learning Disabilities in Inclusive Classrooms
This study looks at the need for educators to make placement decisions considering the resources available in their school, in addition to the skill level of the students they work with, in order to make proper decisions regarding least restrictive environment.
Author: Jeremy Ford
Publication Date: Fall/Winter 2013
Publisher: Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education

Educational Equity and Quality in K- 12 Schools: Meeting the Needs of All Students
This paper discusses the importance of equity and quality education in K-12 schools and how employing equity and quality strategies in classroom instructional practices and school culture can positively change children’s lives.
Authors: Doris L. Thompson and Sherwood Thompson
Publication Date: Fall 2018
Publisher: Journal for the Advancement of Educational Research International

Examples of Instructional Accommodations
This is a list of accommodations with explanations for practical applications and testing accommodations that students should be using during regular instruction, so they are proficient with them.
Publication Date: March 2020
Publisher: Inclusive Schools Network

Forward Together: A School Leader’s Guide to Creating Inclusive Schools
This guide is organized around three pillars of practice for creating inclusive schools: establishing common beliefs, creating an inclusive culture, and implementing effective instructional practices. These pillars help schools build confident and successful learners who can meet challenges and capitalize on opportunities in college and in the workplace.
Authors: Lindsay DeHartchuck, Lindsay Kruse, and Meghan Whittaker
Publication Date: December 2019
Publisher: National Center for Learning Disabilities

High-Leverage Practices in Special Education
The high leverage practices in special education are organized around four aspects of practice—collaboration, assessment, instruction, and social/emotional/behavioral practices—and provide guidance for special education teachers as they enact practices in these areas in integrated and reciprocal ways.
Authors: James McLeskey, Mary-Dean Barringer, Bonnie Billingsley, Mary Brownell, Dia Jackson, Michael Kennedy, Tim Lewis, Larry Maheady, Jackie Rodriguez, Mary Catherine Scheeler, Judy Winn, and Deborah Ziegler
Publication Date: January 2017
Publisher: Council for Exceptional Children and CEEDAR Center

How to Address Educational Equity: Research-Based Recommendations for Educators
This article explains the Culturally Responsive Mastery-Based Education research project exploring how schools incorporated both culturally responsive education practices and mastery-based educational practices. Implications and recommendations for bridging culturally responsive and mastery-based education are included.
Authors: Lindsey Foster, Leah Peoples, Pamela D’Andrea Martínez, and Jeremy Martin
Publication Date: March 2021
Publisher: KnowledgeWorks Foundation

Improving Outcomes for All Students: Strategies and Considerations to Increase Student Diversity
This brief provides information to support school districts seeking to improve student diversity in their schools through voluntary, community-led programs as part of an overall effort to increase equity and excellence for all students.
Publication Date: January 2017
Publisher: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

Instructional Practices That Integrate Equity-Centered Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning
This brief refines pioneering work on the integration of SEL with academics and specifically addresses 10 educator practices that promote social, emotional, and academic development and have been updated to be more inclusive of the multiple spaces in which students learn and develop.
Authors: Nicholas Yoder, Angela Ward, and Sara Wolforth
Publication Date: December 2021
Publisher: American Institutes for Research

Introducing High-Leverage Practices in Special Education: A Professional Development Guide for School Leaders
This downloadable online guide provides school leaders, including administrators, principals, mentors and coaches, with practical tools for engaging their staff members in learning about how high-leverage practices in special education can enhance student learning in the school and district.
Publication Date: 2019
Publisher: Council for Exceptional Children and CEEDAR Center

MTSS for All: Including Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities
This brief provides suggestions for ways in which MTSS can include students with the most significant cognitive disabilities so that MTSS provides a whole school and whole district approach to be implemented by educators. Ideas for how to make MTSS fully inclusive of all students are presented.
Publication Date: January 2020
Publishers: National Center on Educational Outcomes and the TIES Center

Preparing Teachers for Effective Paraeducator Supervision
Paraeducators are an integral part of the instructional process and support services for students with disabilities. This brief offers recommendations and guidelines for better preparation of teachers for their supervisory roles with paraeducators.
Authors: Peggy Yates, Ritu Chopra, Sarah Douglas, Virginia Walker, Rob Schulze, Emily Sobeck, and Stephanie Morano
Publication Date: November 2019
Publisher: Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children

Principal Leadership: Moving toward Inclusive and High-achieving Schools for Students with Disabilities
This paper synthesizes research from both the general and special education leadership literature to identify critical research findings about effective practices and their implications for practice in supporting students with disabilities. An innovation configuration matrix is included for rating levels of implementation.
Authors: Bonnie S. Billingsley, James McLeskey, and Jean B. Crockett
Publication Date: June 2017 Revised
Publisher: University of Florida, Collaboration for Effective Educator, Development, Accountability, and Reform Center

School Climate and Inclusion
This practice brief outlines school climate reform, an evidence-based strategy for K-12 school communities to promote supportive and engaging school environments.
Authors: Clement Coulston and Kaitlyn Smith
Publication Date: February 2013
Publisher: National School Climate Center

School Climate and Shared Leadership
This brief explains shared leadership and offers five strategies that lead to and sustain shared leadership in schools and addresses some of the challenges school leaders, teachers, students, and school community members may experience while co-creating positive school climates.
Authors: William Hughes and Terry Pickeral
Publication Date: February 2013
Publishers: National School Climate Center

School Practices and Accountability for Students With Disabilities
This report illustrates the findings of a study comparing school practices and accountability for students with disabilities. Among the findings, always accountable schools favored co-teaching, tiered instructional intervention, PBIS, and adopting reading across the curriculum.
Authors: Jenifer Harr-Robins, Mengli Song, Michael Garet, and Louis Danielson
Publication Date: February 2015
Publisher: Institute of Education Sciences

Significant Disproportionality in Special Education: Trends Among English Learners (ELs)
Years of research point to inequities in education for students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and students with disabilities. These inequities are particularly apparent when it comes to rates of discipline and special education enrollment. This brief summarizes the trends in significant disproportionality for students who are English learners.
Publication Date: October 2020
Publisher: National Center for Learning Disabilities

Significant Disproportionality in Special Education: Current Trends and Actions for Impact
It is imperative that education professionals and policymakers understand the magnitude of significant disproportionality for students of different races and ethnicities and take actions to correct it and prevent it from happening. This brief summarizes the literature and latest research on disproportionality in special education and offers changes in policy and practice that can reduce significant disproportionality in schools.
Publication Date: October 2020
Publishers: National Center for Learning Disabilities

The Role of the Paraprofessional in the Inclusive Class
In this webinar, learn how paraprofessionals can work successfully in the inclusive classroom, give students effective and appropriate support, manage relationships with teachers and students, and help support friendships between students. A can’t-miss learning experience for both teachers and paraprofessionals.
Publication Date: November 2014
Publisher: Brookes Publishing

The UDL Guidelines
The UDL Guidelines are a tool used in the implementation of Universal Design for Learning. These guidelines offer a set of concrete suggestions that can be applied to any discipline or domain to ensure that all learners can access and participate in meaningful, challenging learning opportunities.
Publication Date: 2018
Publisher: CAST