Why aren’t people with disabilities readily accepted into all aspects of the community and society? What are we missing out on?
Even though inclusion is a civil right, people with disabilities are commonly discriminated against and excluded in all different aspects of society. We as a community are not affording individuals with disabilities the opportunity to feel that they fully belong and have a purpose. Everyone deserves a chance to be understood and included, no matter the misconceptions or circumstances. The inclusion of people with disabilities affects all people. When we, as a community, readily accept and include individuals with disabilities, we all learn to value people’s differences and learn to see what each person has to offer.
For my creative project, I conducted a 4-week virtual speakers series on disability and inclusion. Over the course of four weeks in September 2022 I hosted a virtual speakers series with a new speaker each week focusing on different topics. Topics discussed included self-advocacy, research on inclusion and early childhood development, inclusive sports, and IEP advocacy and inclusive education.
My goal within this project and for society as a whole is for people with disabilities to be accepted and included without having to fight for it. People are afraid of what they don't know. If people with disabilities were more commonly included in the community, the fear would dissipate. People with disabilities would just be teammates, peers, and fellow employees. It would be a natural authentic everyday occurrence. I hope that society can work together to treat everyone the way they deserve to be treated.
- A Speaker's Series on Disability and Inclusion: Everyone Benefits with Inclusion