Classes, Including Extra-Curricular and College Access

Students with disabilities need to take classes and have extra-curricular opportunities throughout their education that are inclusive and related to life skill and career development goals. This practice has been shown to increase student, family, and teacher expectations and helps students to develop peer relationships and appropriate social and employment soft skills earlier than students who do not have inclusive opportunities. Students who have had more and broader inclusive opportunities have increased academic outcomes, which put them in a better position for expanded access to postsecondary education opportunities, career options, and ultimately higher paying jobs after completing a transition program.

High School Inclusion


Tools to Use

10 Practical Ways to Foster Inclusion – This information guide provides 10 ideas to expand or strengthen inclusion at your school.

Why High School Inclusion Matters – An overview of the evidence base for supporting the inclusion of high school students with disabilities in classes, extra-curriculars, and college with peers who do not have disabilities. 


Least Restrictive Environment Guidance for IEP Work Placements – This guidance letter from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services clarifies the reporting requirements, answers questions for IEP teams and ensures that youth with disabilities are receiving transition services, including work experiences, in the most integrated settings.

High School Opportunity Map– Use this to increase awareness of all educational and extracurricular opportunities available at your school. Share the information you compile with students with disabilities so that they know what is available and have the opportunities to try classes and activities that are of interest to them.

Opportunity Mapping Next Steps– This document will walk you through what to do after you’ve completed an Opportunity Map for your school.   

Opportunity Mapping PowerPoint– This PowerPoint will help you think about your opportunity mapping needs.   

Lisa Pugh – OSEP Letter on LRE – YouTube video of Lisa Pugh from Disability Rights Wisconsin describing the process of how Wisconsin secured a response from the Office of Special Education Programs on least restrictive environment for transition work placements.

College Access


Tools to Use

College Bound Booklet – Geared toward youth with disabilities and family members, this comprehensive document can assist teams to consider options that support students with I/DD to attend college. 


College Bound Brief for Students and Families – This helps students and families understand the key points from the full College Bound booklet.

Preparing Students for College Checklist – Use this checklist to help determine next steps in preparing students with I/DD to attend college.