least restrictive environment, inclusion, individualised education programme, continuum of alternative placements, special education, individuals with disabilities education act
The least restrictive environment (LRE) requirement has been one of the major pillars of special education law in the USA since its enactment in 1975 and has proven to be one of the most contentious principles. Absent a decision by the US Supreme Court or further clarification in the wording of the law itself, it is likely that the debate will continue. This discussion is particularly important because misapplication of the LRE principle can result in a violation of civil rights and deprive children of a free appropriate public education. A review of the historical background of LRE, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and relevant court cases supports the contention that the general education setting is the LRE for every child but not necessarily the appropriate placement for all children.
International Journal of Inclusive Education
Required Publisher's Statement
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Inclusive Education on 21 June 2011, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13603116.2010.484509
Keith J. Hyatt & John Filler (2011) LRE re-examined: misinterpretations and unintended consequences, International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15:9, 1031-1045, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2010.484509
Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.