Inclusion Landing Pad

Providing services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with developmental delays or disabilities and their families in inclusive settings is recognized as high quality practices in the field of early intervention and early care education. The term “inclusion” has many historic uses, variations, and applications. With these variations comes the accompanying need to identify high quality, evidence-based resources for administrators, practitioners, and families. This landing pad highlights research, policies, and position statements (Why Do It?), print materials (Read All About It), videos and DVDs (See For Yourself), and Web resources (Find It Online) to support those efforts. Featured resources are high-quality, readily available, and no-cost or low-cost. A special section (Virginia Guidance) features Web sites, organizations, and other state-specific resources.

Why Do It?

Research Synthesis Points on Quality Inclusive Practices

The National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI) has released a product that provides brief descriptions and supporting references for evidence-based and promising practices that support early childhood inclusion. Research Synthesis Points on Quality Inclusive Practices are organized in three major sections: 1. Access 2. Participation and 3. Supports. Find out more at this website:

Include Me - Guide to Inclusive Child Care

This educational, easy to read guide was designed to assist child care providers to include young children with special health or developmental needs in their programs. Download and read the guide here:

See For Yourself

Foundations of Inclusion Birth to Five

This short video provides an overview of inclusion legal and policy foundations and inclusion research, as well as a definition, the desired results, and defining features of inclusion in early childhood. The video was produced by CONNECT: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge. CONNECT is working with the early childhood community to create a series of free, Web-based, instructional resources for early childhood faculty, professional development providers, and learners around the nation. Find the video here:

The Inclusion Series: Programs about Inclusive Education and Community Life

This site includes features three videos including Choices, Step by Step: Heather’s Story, and Friendship. Each video shares the story of young children who are included in their neighborhood schools and communities. Visit the website here:

SpecialQuest: Creating Bright Futures

In this video, the Hilton/Early Head Start Training Program shares its vision for the inclusion of infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families in early care and education programs. Family members of infants and toddlers with disabilities, early care and education service providers, and early intervention providers discuss their experiences and dreams for programs that include all children. Creating Bright Futures was developed for SpecialQuest in 1998 and is a 2002 Aegis Awards winner. Aegis is a national video competition that features peer judging by professionals who work in the video industry. SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library (search by video).

SpecialQuest: Embrace the Possibilities

In this video, family members of young children with disabilities share their experiences during the period when their child was identified as having a disability. Early Head Start, early intervention, preschool service providers, and families discuss strategies that have supported families in accessing information, resources, and support. They provide examples of family​service provider collaboration and of the ways families of infants and toddlers with disabilities become informed decision makers for their own family, provide support to other families, and enrich programs and communities through their leadership roles. Embrace Possibilities was developed for SpecialQuest in 1999. SpecialQuest Multimedia Training Library (search by video).

Find It Online

National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI) is working with states to ensure that early childhood teachers are prepared to educate and care for young children with disabilities in settings with their typically developing peers. NPDCI is helping states create professional development systems to support early childhood inclusion by bringing together the leaders within a state who provide professional development related to inclusion to groups as diverse as child care providers, Head Start teachers, early interventionists, pre-kindergarten teachers, preschool disability specialists, higher education students, and family members. Available resources include listings of planning tools, articles, concept papers, presentations, and activity highlights for state-level early childhood agency administrators and directors, parents, policy makers, practitioners, and providers. Information on subscribing to Professional Development Inclusion eNews as well as blogs and discussions via RSS feed is also available at this site:

The Special Quest Group provides responsive services to achieve successful and enduring professional development and systems change for high quality early childhood education on inclusion of young children with disabilities and their families. The SpecialQuest materials and approach have been used with over 5,000 participants nationwide, refined over a period of ten years, and have been shown to create and sustain change. Materials on this Web site are provided at no cost with funding from the Office of Head Start. Search the training library by video titles, volume, keyword, or choose to search the frequently updated supplements page. A Facilitator's Guide is available on all search result pages as PDF or HTML. All volumes as well as the Preschool Series are available for downloading. For information about the SpecialQuest Group:

CONNECT: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge has created Web-based professional development resources that focus on working with young children and their families in a variety of learning environments and inclusive settings. In Module 1: Embedded Interventions, learn about the practice of embedded interventions to help children participate in a variety of early learning opportunities and environments promoting high quality inclusion. Visit the website here

Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) is offered by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start. Learning modules, information, articles and more for teachers, families, and administrators about children can be found on this Web site:

Head Start Center for Inclusion is funded by the Office of Head Start. The center’s goal is to increase the competence, confidence, and effectiveness of personnel in Head Start programs to include children with disabilities. Find their website here:

NC-TAPP (Formerly Partnerships for Inclusion) is a statewide technical assistance project with offices in the western, central, and eastern regions of North Carolina. PFI provides training and consultation to support the inclusion of young children with disabilities, ages birth through five, in all aspects of community life. NC-TAPP collaborates with state, regional, and local agencies to develop policy and program initiatives that facilitate full community inclusion of children with disabilities and their families. Our mission is to promote the social competence of young children and expand and improve inclusive opportunities in natural and least restrictive environments for young children with disabilities, birth to age 5 years, and their families. You can find them online here:

National Network for Child Care (NNCC) unites the expertise of many of the nation's leading universities through the outreach system of Cooperative Extension. NNCC’s goal is to share knowledge about children and child care from the vast resources of the land grant universities with parents, professionals, practitioners, and the general public. NNCC networks with committed individuals around the country to provide practical information and resources that will be useful in everyday work with children. To search any topic, such as “inclusion,” go to the search tab, follow Children, Youth, and Families Educational and Research Network CYFERnet, and input topic under advance search.

The National Inclusion Project serves to bridge the gap that exists between young people with disabilities and the world around them. This project partners with communities and inclusive programs creating awareness about the possibilities that inclusion can bring. Through innovative programs and strategic partnerships, this project is leading the way for inclusive communities nationwide. Let’s ALL Play provides a program model for recreational programs seeking to improve the way they implement inclusion. Together We Make a Difference is an effective service learning curriculum tool that teachers and program providers can use to help all children make an impact. The National Inclusion Project also offers other grants for those seeking to make a difference in their communities with inclusive programs and families seeking to benefit from inclusive programs. The website can be found here:

Read About It

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and Council on Education of the Deaf. (January 18, 2006). Natural Environments for Infants and Toddlers Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Their Families. The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide clarification and recommendations from the Joint Committee of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Council on Education of the Deaf (CED) on natural environments. This fact sheet provides recommendations for selecting natural environments for families and their infants or toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing, and for advocating for appropriate environments for services. It also provides resources for further information. Visit the website here:

Cate, D., Diefendorf, M., McCullough, K., Peters, M.L., & Whaley, K. (Eds.). (2010). Quality Indicators of Inclusive Early Childhood Programs/Practices: A Compilation of Selected Resources. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute, National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center. This is a user friendly compilation of resources and indicators of high quality inclusive practices. National and state-developed resources contained within this document have been designed for a variety of audiences, and may be useful for families, practitioners, program administrators, technical assistance personnel, researchers, and state administrators. Excerpts and adaptations of the resources are intended to provide some familiarity with the content of each resource and encourage further examination via links to more complete information. Download and read the paper here:

Expanding Opportunities: An Interagency Inclusion Initiative. (March 2010). Chapel Hill, NC: National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC). This two-page document highlights the purpose and focus of the Interagency Inclusion Initiative. Research has shown that both young children with disabilities and their peers benefit from participating together in quality programs and community activities. However, inclusive opportunities for young children with disabilities are often not systematic, comprehensive, or necessarily of high quality. Four federal agency partners recognized the need to promote collaborative efforts in states that would result in high quality inclusive opportunities for all children and families. They created the Expanding Opportunities Initiative and supported it through the coordinated efforts of their technical assistance (TA) resources. This interagency inclusion initiative began in 2005 and has continued to be supported by the federal partners each year. Download it here:

Grisham-Brown, J., & Pretti-Frontczak, K. (2011). Assessing young children in inclusive settings: The blended practices approach. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. This 288 page resource addresses both the purpose and process for assessment of all children in inclusive settings. Research and recommended practices to conduct authentic assessment during children’s natural routines, involve families, inform effective program planning, and aligning with DEC and NAEYC recommendations are provided in this book. Includes vignettes, classroom examples, and sample checklists and assessment tools for children with and without disabilities. Find it here:

Division for Early Childhood/National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2009). Early childhood inclusion: A joint position statement of the Division for Early Childhood and the National Association for the Education of Young Children Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute. This joint position statement of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) offers a definition of early childhood inclusion. The definition was designed not as a litmus test for determining whether a program can be considered inclusive, but rather, as a blueprint for identifying the key components of high quality inclusive programs. In addition, this document offers recommendations for how the position statement should be used by families, practitioners, administrators, policy makers, and others to improve early childhood services. Read it here:

Snow, K. (2012). People First Language. Woodland Park, CO: Disability is Natural. This four-page article, with examples of Kathie's People First Language includes powerful messages to society for our choice of words, encouraging everyone to use more respectful and accurate language. Download and read the article here:

Virginia Guidance

Virginia Department of Education. (2007). Inclusive placement opportunities for preschoolers (IPOP) planning guide. Richmond, VA: Author. This guide is designed to help Virginia’s local school divisions meet federal and state mandates that children with disabilities be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Section I provides a rationale for local school divisions to begin exploring and developing inclusive practices. Section II introduces three types of inclusive placement opportunities: early childhood settings, part-time early childhood/part-time early childhood special education settings, and reverse inclusion settings. Section III describes each of the different early childhood programs that could serve as a placement option for preschoolers with disabilities. Section IV presents the process of change associated with planning and initiating these inclusive practices, followed by the 15 steps that local school divisions may use to explore and develop inclusive placement opportunities. Visit this website for more information:

Include Me: Bringing Early Education to Children with Disabilities. Richmond, VA: Virginia Commonwealth University, Partnership for People with Disabilities. Include Me is an initiative working to increase the capacity of child care centers in the greater Richmond area to provide quality inclusive early childhood education for children with disabilities. Through this project center teachers will receive interventions in the form of training and consultation services throughout the year. The aim of the training and consultation services is to increase their skill and comfort level in providing community-based, inclusive care to young children. Read more here:

VDOE Training and Technical Assistance Centers Online and Regional Offices. The Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) Training and Technical Assistance Centers (T/TAC) offer a variety of services tailored to assist personnel in schools, interagency coordinating councils, and state-operated programs throughout the Commonwealth. The seven T/TACs are participating members of the online community: T/TAC Online

Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center

Virginia Commonwealth University
Partnership for People with Disabilities

Integrated Training Collaborative
Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia
Partnership for People with Disabilities

This professional development activity is supported by the Integrated Training Collaborative (ITC), with funding support from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Copyright © 2012, Updated 2013.