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What is inclusion in the disability community?

Inclusion is all about ensuring every person can fully participate in all aspects of society. Inclusion should be implemented across a number of different areas, including workplaces, public areas, schools, institutions, and consumer facing businesses.

In the disability community, inclusion is essential. Many aspects of life are inherently designed for non-disabled people, which puts disabled people at a disadvantage. At Inclusion Melbourne, we believe that all people should be afforded the same opportunities and support, tailored to their individual needs. We recognise that many disabled adults miss out on socialising, community participation, education and employment because many programs and events do nor cater for a wide range of needs. Inclusion aims to ensure that life experiences are open to everyone.

Why is inclusion important?

Inclusion is central to equality. If every person is not able to participate in what life has to offer, then we are essentially living in an unequal society. It is our mission to make sure each person has the same opportunity to actively enjoy a valued life, and to take their place in society as a respected citizen. It is therefore essential that workplaces, public places, social events and institutions are inclusive to differing needs, to ensure social inclusion.

Secondly, inclusion enriches society. Incorporating different perspectives into our world view ensures we continually grow and develop, and make decisions that capture a range of different life experiences.

Inclusion is often confused with integration. Integration refers to the segregation of people with disabilities from the mainstream, in the form of specialized groups or classes. Integration may result in isolation from the rest of society in a number of ways. Integration is a method that inhibits people with disabilities from being able to truly participate in society. Contrastingly, inclusion ensures that each person is able to achieve the same outcomes. Whether that be in social, educational, or employment settings, inclusion is the best method to ensure people with disabilities are given the same opportunities to participate in society.