‘the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of other minority groups’. Therefore this means that all people, regardless of their abilities, disabilities, or health care needs, have the right to: Be respected and appreciated as valuable members of their communities.
Real inclusion in education only began in the 1990’s, when young people with disabilities were given access to their local schools. Schools provide the context for a child’s first relationship with the world outside their families, enabling the development of social relationships and interactions. In education this inclusion should not be about ‘one size fits all’ but about teaching all students and using best practices, giving access to all and promoting the best outcomes for all. When practiced well Inclusion is the fore runner in enabling all children to be a part of society and develop a sense of belonging and become better prepared for life as children and adults.
This inclusive approach goes beyond the classroom, in creating an inclusive culture we need to embrace all people irrespective of race, gender, disability, medical or other need. It is about giving equal access and opportunities and getting rid of discrimination and intolerance. Creating an inclusive culture is very different from simply creating a diverse workplace – although it’s a good place to start – having a head count of employees from various gender, race, and sexual orientation can appeal and tick boxes for thesystem’ but it’s not just about looking good. When employees feel included in their place of work, they are more likely to be positively engaged, feel a sense of belonging that drives increased positive performance, create collaborative teams who are innovative and engaging and have far reaching effects on relational practice and development of self.
Inclusivity is beneficial to all no-one wants to be or feel ‘excluded’.