What is Inclusion?

Amy Sweeney by Amy Sweeney Additional Needs

Amy Sweeney

Amy Sweeney

My name is Amy and I’m mum to Wilson aged 3 and Ava aged 4. Wilson has cerebral palsy affecting all 4 limbs along with CVI but it doesn’t let it st...

We have all heard that word “inclusion” and it’s something I talk about quite a lot, how much it matters and how important inclusion is.

But what actually does it mean?

Well, if you were to google it, it would tell you It is “the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure” But that doesn’t really tell us much does it.

That definition makes it sound like such a simple thing but what usually happens is integration and the two should not be confused because there is a big difference!

You may think that by doing something at the same time and the same place is inclusion, but when something is made different for someone with disabilities for example, then this is integration. Inclusion would be including all members of society, regardless it is about any disability, poverty, or social, ethnical and religious background, etc. And not making it different for them but making it so everyone can join in with the same activity.

Yes, things will need to be in place to allow everyone to take part sometimes but what can sometimes happen is that it will seem like hard work, take longer and too much effort so it just doesn’t happen, which is really pretty sad.

Attitude can be one of the biggest barriers of inclusion, like I just mentioned - it can be easy to think that being inclusive is too much of an effort so why bother right? Something I ALWAYS do is imagine myself in another person’s shoes, how might someone else feel in a situation where they can’t get involved or do something they really want to do, how would you feel if you went somewhere with your friends but had to do something different because it wasn’t accessible for all.

It imposes the question of why should an individual be left out because they are different?

The truth is - we are all different and that’s what we need to realise! Create access and clear communication and inclusion really can be easy. This doesn’t just apply to schools and sports clubs but to everyday situations.

So have a think, what can I do to be inclusive? How could I promote inclusion? Make a change. Raise awareness and make every individual happy and able to have friends and do the things that they have a right to do.

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