It's Friday- the first Friday in August... so I am going to keep this short! Before you keep reading, I want to wish you all an awesome weekend: get outside, relax, and enjoy!
Almost 30 years after the Salamanca Statement, we are still struggling to figure out inclusion- no denying there is a debate surrounding inclusion and inclusive practice.🤔
If the academics cannot figure it out, how can the rest of us!
BUT, this does not mean we cannot try. In my opinion, inclusion is an approach or a mindset that leads to all members of the community having opportunities to be: ✔️present ✔️participative ✔️successful It means that communities are built on the foundation that difference has value, difference is respected, and difference is the norm.
How do we do this?
There is no right way. BUT the wrong way is to not try or push your limits. When you find yourself saying ‘this is how I do it’ or ‘we always do it like this’- ASK yourself why.
- challenge your assumptions - learn about other experiences & perspectives - push your limits & ask why
Remember, mindset is a practice. It takes time to change it, to challenge it, to understand it, and to develop.
This is just one example: The other day I was walking through a city park- lots of picnic tables. A wonderful invitation for visitors & city dwellers to pack a lunch and enjoy the city park BUT there was only one accessible table (ramp and all). It is a good start- but what if we had only accessible picnic tables. Would this not be more welcoming? Instead of having space for one wheelchair, we should have space for many? If we build spaces on the assumption that communities are built with difference in mind, barriers will be reduced. Members will feel valued and a part of the community!