The persistence of highly restrictive special education placements for students with low-incidence disabilities

Jennifer A Kurth, Mary E. Morningstar, Elizabeth B. Kozleski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to analyze the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) data that states and U.S. territories report from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and discuss the status of the most restrictive special education placement settings for students with disabilities. In this analysis, we found that (a) states do not set rigorous improvement goals to reduce restrictive placements, (b) the percentage of students with disabilities placed in restrictive placements have remained essentially unchanged over the past decade, and (c) students with low-incidence (severe) disabilities are disproportionally placed in restrictive placements. These results suggest that segregated educational experiences continue for thousands of students with disabilities in spite of evidence that shows that opportunities to learn and develop are enhanced in more inclusive educational settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-239
Number of pages13
JournalResearch and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Inclusive education
  • Instruction
  • Low-incidence disabilities
  • Severe disabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Professions(all)

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