Critical Components of Successful Inclusion of Students with Severe Disabilities: Literature Review

Peer-reviewed article
(2012 Jan) International Journal of Special Education, 27 42-59


Turki Alquraini, Dianne Gut


This paper examines the critical components of successful inclusion for students with severe disabilities. This review sets out to provide an overview of literature regarding effective practices for inclusion with a focus on critical components of successful inclusion that assist in preparing the stakeholders worldwide to work and engage effectively with students with disabilities in inclusive schools. The methodology used to conduct this review was to systematically search internet resources, abstracts and databases. The descriptors used include: students with severe disabilities/significant disabilities/ intellectual disabilities, inclusion, modification, adaptations, assistive technology, collaboration, instructional strategies, typically developing peers, and family support. This was followed by the application of two sets of criteria: (1) the article consists of subjects with inclusion/inclusive/general education setting/public schools and (2) the article examines critical components of successful inclusion of students with disabilities or equivalent concepts as the outcome. Seventy two studies met the two criteria and are presented in this review. The author provides an integrated overview of current knowledge regarding the critical components that enhance the quality of inclusive education programs for students with severe disabilities across the world. This review provides evidence that these components support students' access and progress, either in curricular or non-curricular activities in general education settings. Finally, the author identifies the need for future empirical studies to further examine how each of these components supports students with severe disabilities in general education settings.