There is a grand misconception about the meaning of special education. “Special education” is not a place. It is neither a type of classroom nor a school that any student can be placed “in.” Special education is a system of support and services available to all students when or if needed due to a physical, emotional, academic delay OR advanced development as compared to their peers.
By law, students with physical disabilities should ALSO be educated with students who are NOT disabled to the maximum extent appropriate. Students with disabilities have a right to be educated in the regular education classroom with their non-disabled peers. This includes access to the curriculum that is taught in the regular education classroom as well as those any accommodations that can be put in place so that a child with a disability is able to make meaningful academic gains.
No student should ever be unneccessarily isolated, separately educated, provided a diluted or inferior education, or denied meaningful opportunities to learn.