First Advisor

Chris Borgmeier

Term of Graduation

Fall 2021

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Special and Counselor Education


Special Education





Physical Description

1 online resource (19 pages)


The American education system systematically and persistently excludes students from the general education setting based on (dis)ability. Disproportionate segregation of students with Intellectual Disability (ID) is a form of prejudice that is acceptable today and allowable by current laws. Fully segregated education settings for students with ID are harmful to students with disabilities, to their neurotypical peers, and to civilized society as a whole. For many students with ID, ableist systems, deficit thinking, and special education rules allow for segregated placements to persist, impacting their pathway to accessing the general education curriculum.

Improving inclusive practices as a research-based practice for students with disabilities can lead to a decrease in segregated education, increase access to the general curriculum, and impact long-term outcomes for students with ID. This study examines the problem of segregated educational settings and how leaders in three Oregon school districts improve inclusive education by employing a multiple-case study. This study finds that aligned leadership, establishing a culture of inclusion, and intentional structures of support indirectly address ableism and influence the technical and adaptive shifts necessary to improve inclusive education for students with ID.


© 2021 Michael Eric Salitore

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