Most Restrictive Environment: The Impacts of a Mainstream Education on Deaf Children
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Deaf students are taught in a variety of different educational settings, from deaf only residential schools to mainstream education classrooms. The current laws governing Special Education state that deaf students should be educated with their hearing peers to the maximum extent possible, which leads to a clear majority of deaf students being placed in mainstream environments that are rarely effective. This thesis will discuss the history behind these laws and the negative impacts they have on Deaf Education and the students’ opportunities for learning. Focusing on the typical experiences a deaf student has, this paper will offer a breakdown of the different issues that have been caused by these laws, as well as suggest changes to the current legislation. These suggestions will help to ensure that deaf students are evaluated and placed in a manner that would improve their quality of education.