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What is mainstreaming in regard to Deaf Education?

Mainstreaming is the practice of placing deaf* children into the "mainstream" of public schools instead of placing them into residential schools for the Deaf or other Deaf-focused programs. Many culturally Deaf individuals oppose mainstreaming because even though the deaf child is surrounded by other students -- the child may actually end up experiencing increased isolation and loneliness due to communication barriers than the child would experience if taught in a program specifically designed for and populated by deaf students.

Related concepts:

* There was a law passed called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
* The IDEA requires states to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities.
* The IDEA contains rules that require states to educate students with disabilities in the "Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)."
* Many "Hearing" people feel that the least restrictive environment is in a mainstream public school.
* Most culturally Deaf people feel that the least restrictive environment is in a residential school for the Deaf or a program designed specifically for and populated by deaf students.



* deaf:  The word "deaf" is being used lowercase here to refer to physically deaf children -- who may or may not be culturally Deaf

Also see:
The ASL sign for: MAINSTREAM
Topic: "Mainstreaming: Deaf/Hard of Hearing Children in Public Schools"
Topic: "The Debate on Mainstreaming"
Topic: "Mainstream Deaf Education"

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