Community Partners: The Arc of Pennsylvania; PA Department of Education/Bureau of Special Education; PA School Districts
ECP at the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Psychology-in-Education has received funding since 2010 from The Arc of Pennsylvania in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Education/Bureau of Special Education to conduct a longitudinal program evaluation research study to document the impact and outcomes of an intensive, on-site mentoring and consultation model [Include Me) in public school classrooms. Include Me methods seek to enhance the competencies of Pre-K through High School teachers to make accommodations and to increase their instructional and management expertise to include children with significant disabilities into their general education classrooms. SPECS has analyzed the impact and outcomes of the The Arc of PA--Include Me mentoring model on teachers, parents, children, and school district administrative support in 350 Pennsylvania schools with 750 teachers across Pennsylvania for 2100 children and families. The original grant and subsequent yearly funding of the IM model are outgrowths of the Gaskin legal settlement (2009) which advocates for the preparation of school districts to better accommodate the needs of children with significant disabilities in regular classrooms. The SPECS evaluation research is intended to provide evidence-based information to inform future policy and professional practices about inclusion supports. The attached research monograph summarizes the outcomes of the IM program evaluation research.