A library where a number of people have gathered to have a meeting. They are actively involved in conversation with many books and reference materials spread out on the page in front of them.

System change that creates a pathway for inclusive education for all students, including students with significant cognitive disabilities, is purposeful and planful. Leadership at all levels of the system (e.g., state, district, and school) creates a strong driver for moving and sustaining inclusive and equitable schools for all students. 

Within the educational system, the district plays a key role in creating an inclusive vision that is implemented across its multiple schools and classrooms. A unifying message from the central office, along with supportive policies and practices, provides direction and support to schools helping them to implement and sustain inclusive, equitable practices. Districts achieve improvements in performance by promoting system-wide learning, prioritizing teaching and learning, using support and accountability structures to build system-wide capacity, and fostering open and collaborative cultures to improve opportunities and outcomes for all students.

The resources in this section focus on inclusive leadership and systems change. They can be used in multiple ways, including: 

  • For individual personal and professional growth,
  • As part of professional development series for leadership teams to collectively build effective inclusive education systems, and 
  • By institutions of higher education to support the development of inclusive educational leaders.  

Resources on Systemic Change