Expert says children with disabilities do better in school when taught in a normal atmosphere

RAPID CITY, S.D (KOTATV) - Dr. Richard Villa spent the day training around 160 Rapid City teachers.

He showed them how to provide opportunities for all of their students, regardless of certain physical or mental disabilities.

Villa says children with disabilities do better academically when they are taught in a general classroom, as opposed to a specialized classroom.

After 40 years of research, he found that inclusion among their peers leads to higher rates of employment, happiness and better self-esteem for these kids.

Dr. Richard Villa said, "There are many schools and many places with children with disabilities. And children who struggle with learning are not reaching their full potential so we know we're more likely to help these children."

Villa also stressed that all educators have a legal right to teach students in the least restrictive environment possible.