As a special education department we chose the Problem of Practice: How might we authentically include students with severe disabilities so they are academically engaged in their classes and socially engaged in the school community? For the first time at our school and in our professional work together, we have five students with more severe disabilities who we felt required extra attention. There was concern that maybe our setting was not their Least Restrictive Environment because we don’t have enough specific knowledge or systems in place to support these students. They’re here, but are they truly included academically and socially? So we did research. We read all about intellectual disabilities and autism, about what they mean neurologically, about strategies to teach students with these diagnoses and about the histories of their exclusion from public schools. What we found is that a lot of the evidence-based practices that our texts promoted were ones that we were often using intuitively with our students. Reading the texts helped us to be more intentional about the strategies we used and to develop a shared language with which we can discuss our students as a department and with our general education staff. Our focus for this blog post is on academic inclusion. Maybe we will focus on social inclusion in the next post.