BACKGROUND: Judgements about students' competence influence the goals of their individualised education programs (IEPs), the location of service delivery, and their placement in general education (GE) as opposed to special education (SE) classes. The purpose of this study was to describe how presumed competence to learn the GE curriculum was reflected in the IEPs of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), and in the reported percentage of time that these students spent in GE classes prior to and following the Beyond Access professional development intervention. METHOD: Five educational teams of students with IDD participated in a professional development intervention that emphasised students' presumed competence to learn grade-level GE curriculum. Students' pre- and post-intervention IEPs were qualitatively analysed and team member reports of percentage time spent in GE classes were averaged. RESULTS: Five categories of presumed competence were identified. Following intervention, emphasis on learning the GE curriculum, a shift in location of service delivery from outside to within the GE classroom, and increased time spent in GE classes were reported. CONCLUSIONS: The Beyond Access intervention shows promise for enhancing views of the competence of students with IDD to learn the GE curriculum and for increasing their inclusion in GE classrooms.