Resources for Birth to Teens

The Federal U.S. Department's of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) Release Policy Statement on Inclusion in Early Childhood Programs

The “Policy Statement on Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs,” released jointly by the Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) on September 14, 2015, states 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".

Children with disabilities and their families continue to face significant barriers to accessing inclusive high-quality early childhood programs, and too many preschool children with disabilities are only offered the option of receiving special education services in settings separate from their peers without disabilities.

The ED/HHS policy statement:

The policy statement was written with the input of early learning professionals, families, and other early learning stakeholders. Though it focuses on including young children with disabilities, it is ED's and HHS's shared vision that all people be meaningfully included in all facets of society throughout the course of their lives. This begins in early childhood programs and continues into schools, places of employment, and the broader community.

Full Policy Statement

Executive Summary

Letter by Secretaries Duncan and Burwell on Inclusion in Early Learning Programs

Important Websites:

RI Down Syndrome Society of RI | Information for New Parents

RI Department of Human Services