We live in a world where children with disabilities are discriminated across the globe. The shear nature of our society is based on trying to improve things and never settling for individual differences that make us unique.
In my line of work, I find that more time is spent finding a “better” place for a child to be educated than trying to make the existing school placement more accessible. It is much easier to say that this child does not belong than to be challenged by individual differences. Surely, this goes against the ethos of inclusion which is about acceptance. The most important and crucial fear factor that children or young people with disabilities have is how far they will be accepted by their societies and the people they interact with on a daily basis.
We make the assumption that it is only the people that care about them who have a responsibility to include but the reality is that we all do. Society has a lot to do with the way we shape our perception of disability.
I learnt this week that the history and foundations of special education is based on segregation rather than inclusion. Look it up if you don’t believe me.
It’s too late to change our collective history now. The truth is that people with disabilities are at a disadvantage, but there are things that we can do to stop the segregation and exclusion from getting worse.
What actions do you take which support the inclusion of individuals with unique characteristics and differences?
Including them once doesn’t go far enough. How do you help others to understand and embrace individual difference?