What is inclusion. What does it mean to you? Little wonder it’s confusing with no defacto definition it can mean different things to different people:
According to the Equity Group 2004 Inclusion is all about:
“Equal rights and of being equal value, This should be a basic starting point for educational and social policy in a modern society”
But Chris Darlington of NASEN says:
“key principles are valuing diversity, entitlement, dignity, individual needs planning “
Guess what, the Centre for Studies in inclusive Education have yet another perspective:
A continual process of breaking down barriers to learning and participation for all children and young people”
So it would seem some of us view inclusion through the lens of SEN, whilst others see it in a broader sense, and for me this seems sensible, I believe the principles of inclusion can be applied to many situations in society and possibly applies to anyone who may find themselves marginalised or excluded, it’s about our values and beliefs. It means diversity is prised and we all are equal in worth with the right to be included.
Inclusion doesn’t follow the medical model of ‘deficits’ , but rather the social model that systems should adapt to be better for everyone.
according to your old friends (Riser & Mason 1992) The medical model of disability views people as objects to be treated, changed or improved and in this way a disability can be seen as deficit in the same way meningitis is. This is how the disabled person must be restored to fit in with society rather than how we as a society can accommodate the individual.
Even though it may be true we already possess the technical and medical ability to provide adjustments for individuals to lead productive happy lives with their disability
Reisor 2001 – compiled the following comparison
|You are faulty||Valued|
|Diagnose||Strengths and needs defined by self identify barriers|
|Label||Outcome based programmes|
|Focus on impairment||Resources made available|
|Other needs on hold||Relationships nurtured|
|Re-enrty if normalised||Diversity welcome|
|Society remains||Society evolves|
Oi Reisor we take your point.. medical bad. But hey remember the medical model above firmly has it’s place as myself and my family have often times discovered when visiting the ED
Ok back to the topic, I think a key point here is self determination, and putting the person at the centre of the decision making process. What a professional may view as an individuals needs other peoples expectations can at times create a barrier to achievement
Inclusion can encompass a wide array of individuals who could be marginalisied for example the economically disadvantaged or those from various disability groups. Inclusion is a perspective from which we can all be valued and offered equal opportunities to participate in society….. Gee, how warm and fuzzy
This inclusion malarkey often demands a change to the system and our policies, indeed attitudes to not set boundaries and instead focus on ability and accommodating diversity. Wahoo!