The word inclusion is the buzz word among people who have disabilities. But this word can take on many meanings. The main theme of this word is centered around education, but this word has different meanings for different people. Today we are going to be talking what inclusion means on a personal level.
Definition of Inclusion
Before I start explaining what inclusion is on a personal level, what does inclusion mean on a broad level. The dictionary says it is the action or the state of including or of being included within a group or a structure. In other words, the acceptance of oneself in a group of people.
People these days often associate inclusion to schools. Oh, our school accept students with disabilities and we have the best program for them and we love having these students in our school.
Did you notice how I worded the last sentence? I tried to make you to think that our school is great because we have students with disabilities and we have no issues. It is like a pat on our back.
What does it mean to me
But inclusion to me does not stop at school. It should be in our families, in the work environment, and in society itself. So why did I say this? Well, if we just stop it at school and not in society itself, we are giving mixed signals to our kids. Kids with disabilities don’t matter outside of school. To me, it is wrong
My own cousins come around whenever they want to. I understand that they have a family, but am I not a part of their family too? I assume I am. Sometimes I don’t feel like I am. Like two weeks ago I saw my cousin Brian and before he left, he said let’s have lunch one day this week. I said sure, but did he remember what he planned with me? Absolutely not! His work might have changed or many other things might cause us to not have lunch together. I am not here to knock on people, but inclusion has to be a daily thing. I can’t tell my body that I will walk or talk today. So, inclusion can’t be turned on and off when people like to.
Inclusion in the work place
Inclusion has to be in the work place too. Companies can’t turn a person with a disability away because it is under the American disability Act. I’m sure that they work around the law somehow. It is just sad that research has proven that people with disabilities are more loyal to the companies and stay longer at the company than able body people. Companies just have to take the research to heart.
Inclusion compasses a wide range of things. We as a society have to embrace inclusion and take it to the next level.