Zedler's focus gradually changed from the cause of a disability to effective treatments and therapies to correct the issue.  After years of teaching in the clinic, she began to think that special education was not the solution — perhaps children with learning disabilities would be better served in a regular classroom.  She advocated to cross-train special education teachers and regular education teachers so they would be skilled in helping all children.

This concept, referred to as "mainstreaming," involved moving special needs children out of isolated "special ed" classrooms and into regular classes.  By the early 1970s it was widely recognized that special needs children were not always receiving the same education as other children, prompting state and federal laws to ensure all children had the same right to education.


Special education, like surgery, leaves its scars.  Little children like to be regular. 

— Dr. Empress Zedler


Zedler believed that those who worked in the clinic at Texas State and played a significant role in the state's decision to change how public schools thought of special needs children.

The Texas Education Agency's mandate that all special needs children be transitioned into regular classrooms essentially required that elementary school teachers learn new skills.  In 1972, Zedler led a "Shift of Emphasis" symposium at Texas State; graduate students demonstrated how to meet the needs of special needs children in the regular classroom.