Skip to main content
King County logo

Definition of Inclusion

Inclusion is a belief in every person's inherent right to participate fully in society. Inclusion implies acceptance of differences. It means welcoming a person who otherwise would be excluded. Translating this philosophy into reality is a process that requires collaboration, teamwork, flexibility, a willingness to take risks, and support from a whole array of individuals, services, and community systems. The goal of inclusion is for all people to lead productive lives as full, participating members of their communities.

Definition approved June 7, 2000, by the King County Board for Developmental Disabilities

Also see: Including People with Developmental Disabilities in Our Community. Start Power Point Slide Presentation.

Inclusion Criteria for State to County Day Programs

Laws: (the following are citations from various state and federal laws)

(1) RCW 71.A (Revised Code of Washington: State Law)
.12.020 The secretary shall provide persons who receive services the opportunity for integration with non-handicapped and less handicapped persons to the greatest extent possible.

(2) Title II American with Disabilities Act
42 U.S.C. (United States Code: Federal Law)
1201 (a)(8) ….the Nation's proper goals regarding individuals with disabilities are to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for such individuals.

IDEA Part C Public Law 105-17
(3) Early Intervention Service

(G) to the maximum extent appropriate, are provided in natural environments, including the home and community setting in which children without disabilities participate…….

Policy: (including WAC, that direct expenditures for Day Program)

County Guidelines (Washington Administrative Code)

Title II of the American with Disabilities Act

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): Federal Policy

Department of Justice Regulations require:
A public entity shall administer services, programs, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the qualified individuals with disabilities.

Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act
P.L. 103-230 (Public Law: Federal Law) Part a. section 101 c) POLICY (Federal Policy)

(1) individuals with developmental disabilities, including those with the most severe disabilities, are capable of achieving independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion into the community.

34 CFR Part 303 federal Register:
303.18 Natural Environments Defined
As used in this part, natural environments means settings that are natural or normal for the child's age peers who have no disabilities.

State Contract with County (the following is language from the State to County contract)
All Day Program providers shall meet the requirements set forth in DSHS/DDD Policy 6.13 (Policy)

POLICY A. All providers shall meet the following qualifications:

(2) Agencies shall demonstrate an understanding and a commitment to integration of individuals with developmental disabilities with people who are not disabled.

Criteria for Specific Services (Policy)


The program documents:

2. That it assists each person to gain access to activities which are attended by persons without disabilities.

5. That it has fostered connections between persons with disabilities and persons without disabilities who are not paid to serve the person.

Status of the Individual:


    Respect: each individual is regarded in a dignified, age appropriate manner
  • Equality: each individual is accorded the same privileges as any other person in the same position
  • Rights and responsibilities: each individual is regarded as having the same rights as any other person and is accorded the dignity to exercise responsibility as others in the same status and age group.
  • Self Respect: each individual is placed in positions and given experiences that help develop, maintain and enhance a "healthy" self image.
  • Contribution and Participation: each individual is given opportunities that allow him/her to contribute to his/her community in a manner consistent with others in the general community of the same age and/or status.
  • Promotes opportunities to meet individual need in the context of the community in which they live, play, work learn and develop.
  • Wages: if employed, each individual is accorded the opportunity to make wages that are reflective of the job they have chosen.
  • Decisions about Future: each individual has the opportunity to have input in any planning process, which involves his/her future. This should be done on an age appropriate basis and reflect the general values of society.
  • Real Title: each individual is accorded the respect of being addressed in a manner consistent with the "real" status they have within any group or organization of which they are a member or participant. (for example: trainee, apprentice, employee, student, client etc)




  • Listening to the Person: individuals are allowed to express their likes/dislikes; their desire to make changes or try different things, etc. Program personnel and others periodically take the time to talk with individuals and listen to what they would like to participate in.
  • Communicating Back to the Person: individuals are accorded the respect of hearing back from those who participate or assist in developing plans with the individual. Communication back to the individual reflects that the person has been listened to in what they have expressed as their preferences. This includes information which clearly states how the program will assist the individual in pursuing his/her expressed interests. In the case of infants or minors, this communication should explain to the family how the program will assist the infant or minor and the family in achieving desired outcomes.
  • Explaining Limitations: the individual is accorded the respect of knowing why certain preferences or opportunities may not be readily available to them and what obstacles may be present which may prevent them from attaining his/her expressed interests. In the case of infants and minors the family is clearly informed of any obstacles and/or limitations to achieving desired outcomes.


Model Coherency:


  • A program or opportunity fits its stated purpose. Employment programs supply employment; training programs supply training in clearly defined areas that lead to proficiency in the area of the training; child development services provide services which aid families in enhancing development. All programs promote inclusion of persons with disabilities as full participants in their communities if the stated mission or purpose so states.


Promoting Acceptance by the Community:


  • Each individual is given the opportunity to have a visible presence in the community and be able to participate in valued activities.
  • Each individual is encouraged to make contributions based on the unique gifts and talents they have.
  • We ensure that proper information and education is available to the various aspects of the community in which people may choose to participate.


Appropriate and Adequate Supports Available to Achieve the Purpose:


  • Each individual will need supports and services to achieve inclusion in the community.
  • Each individual is accorded the appropriate support to achieve the desired outcome and also be ensured an adequate amount of support to sustain the outcome.
  • For infants and minors, supports are appropriately available to meet the needs of the child and the outcomes desired by the family.
Contact Us

Phone 206-263-9105

TTY Relay Service: 711

Fax: 206-205-1632