The conflict within: Resistance to inclusion and other paradoxes in special education

David J. Connor, Beth A. Ferri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


In the 30 years since the passage of the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (PL. 94-142) in 1975 (subsequently the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) special education in the USA as an institutionalized practice has become solidified. Over the years, however, the practice of segregating students because of disability has come under increased scrutiny. Beginning in the late 1980s, an increasing number of parents advocated that their children with disabilities be put in mainstream general education classes. Emotionally charged debates over the inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms ensued. In this paper we look at the public debates over inclusion and expose some of the paradoxes within special education that serve to hinder the integration of individuals with disabilities into general classes and, by extension, society at large.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-77
Number of pages15
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • General Health Professions
  • General Social Sciences


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