Steven J. Taylor (d- Nov. 2014)
This article presents a critical analysis of the principle of the least restrictive environment (LRE) – its origins and how LRE has been operationalized in terms of a continuum of residential, educational, and vocational services. The author presents seven conceptual and philosophical flaws or pitfalls in the LRE principle itself, especially when it is applied to people with severe disabilities. The author argues that an uncritical acceptance of LRE may’ lead to the establishment of a “new” community-based continuum. It is noted that many leading writings in the field can be interpreted to legitimate this new continuum. The conclusion supports an unconditional commitment to integration and briefly contrasts integration with LRE as a guiding principle for the design of services and support for people with developmental disabilities.
Caught in the Continuum download