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Inlcusion Means Everyone


According to the joint position statement from the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC),


"Early childhood inclusion embodies the values, policies, and practices that support the right of every infant and young child and his or her family, regardless of ability, to participate in a broad range of activities and contexts as full members of families, communities, and society. The desired results of inclusive experiences for children with and without disabilities and their families includes a sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships and friendships, and development and learning to reach their full potential. The defining features of inclusion that can be used to identify high quality early childhood programs and services are access, participation, and supports."


Early intervention practitioners should be familiar with inclusive practices so that they can assist families in identifying high quality early childhood programs and services in their localities. Practitioners can also use these practices to collaborate with and support early childhood teachers and child care providers as they include children with special needs in the activities of their classrooms and home-based programs.


For more information, see the full position statement, Early Childhood Inclusion (April 2009) (External Website).

Click the links below to jump directly to the following sections of this page.
Landing Pad | Articles & Handouts | Audio/Video | Online Learning | Websites & Programs


Landing Pad

Inclusion PDF | HTML


Articles and Handouts

Baby with Down Syndrome Lands Major Fashion Campaign (external website)
This story features a toddler and her family and their story of how she was discovered and became a model.

Family-Focused Interventions for Promoting Social-Emotional Development in Infants and Toddlers with or at Rick for Disabilities (external website)
Diane Powell and Glen Dunlap
Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention (TACSEI)
This document provides information about family-focused services and practices for promoting social-emotional development of children served in Part C. Its specific focus is on interventions that influence parenting practices for infants and toddlers with or at risk for disabilities.

Policy Statement on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs (external website)
US Dept. of Health and Human Services
US Dept. of Education

The purpose of this policy statement is to set a vision and provide recommendations to States, local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and public and private early childhood programs, from the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) (the Departments), for increasing the inclusion of infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities in high-quality early childhood programs.


It is the Departments’ position that all young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs, where they are provided with individualized and appropriate support in meeting high expectations.

Research Synthesis on Quality Inclusive Practices
(external website)

National Professional Development Center on Inclusion

This document provides brief descriptions and supporting references for the evidence-based and promising practices that support early childhood inclusion based on the collaborative work of the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). These practices are organized into three sections: access, participation, and supports.





Brandon's StoryTelly AwardBrandon's Story, A Mother's Voice

Meet Brandon’s mother as she talks about the importance and impact of early intervention on her son’s life. You’ll also hear from Brandon, who is a teenager and talented musician.


Child Model with Down Syndrome Inspires Thousands (external website)


This story and video clip describe the experience of a 6-year old boy who has modeled for Target and Nordstrom. As the story goes, “Ryan Langston has everything a casting director would want in a child model: charisma, a hip haircut and a knockout smile. This 6-year-old also has Down syndrome -- and it is that fact that has daytime talk shows, international newspapers and news networks all wanting to tell Ryan's story.”

Foundations of Inclusion Birth to Five


This 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.

Two BoysInclusion in Action: Patty's Play Group (external website)

Alexandria, VA This video features an inclusive play group in Northern VA that is designed so that toddlers with and without disabilities and their families have fun together. 

Video "Inclusion Means Everyone!"Inclusion Means Everyone! (external website)

This 3 min video describes inclusion as a basic human right. Speakers focus on the importance of all children, from infancy on through adulthood, being fully included in all aspects of family and community life. This video was developed by VA's Integrated Training Collaborative at the Partnership for People with Disabilities at VCU as a project of the VA SpecialQuest Birth-5 Project.

Group of People SinginInclusion Song - Content Teaching Academy (external website)

Early childhood special education teachers who attended the 2012 Content Teaching Academy at James Madison University sing a song about including all children in their classrooms.

Upper Elementary School Kids of All Albilies in a School PlayUnder The Sea (external website)

Haley Elementary School

This video of an upper elementary school play includes children of all abilities.

Patrick Henry Hughes (external website)

This story spotlights the inspirational life of Patrick Henry Hughes and his extraordinary musical talent. With the assistance of his father, Patrick attends university classes and plays trumpet in the marching band. Patrick was born with visual and motor differences and amazing musical abilities.

Team Lydia Rose: Supporting Inclusion Every Day In Every Way (external website)
Larry Edelman
Desired Results Access Project
This video illustrates how inclusive practices should begin as early possible. The video
has important messages for families who are, or will be, receiving early intervention services, for current and future early intervention practitioners, and for early childhood educators.

Tim Harris Serves Up Food…and Hugs! (external website)

This brief article describes a young man, Tim Harris, who owns a popular restaurant and the high quality customer service he provides. Tim is 26 years old and has Down syndrome.


Online Learning

Journey Toward Inclusion (external website)

VA’s Integrated Training Collaborative

Partnership for People with Disabilities at VCU

This module was developed as an introduction to inclusion. At the conclusion of the module, users will be able to define inclusion and "children-first" language. Additionally, quality inclusive practices and strategies are defined.

Weaving Inclusion into Everyday Activities (external website)

This 5-hour course explains the practice of embedding interventions to help children participate in a variety of early learning opportunities and environments promoting high quality inclusion.

Websites & Programs

Including Samuel: A Documentary (external website)
Visit this site to find a variety of resources on inclusion, including video clips, a screening and outreach kit, and other resources. The site is hosted by Dan Habib, a photojournalist and parent of a son with a disability. The Including Samuel Project is a program of the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire.



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