On Tuesday, Dr. Jorge Eslava enlightened staff and parents in his conference on “Inclusion: Should we? Can we? Is it time?”
To the questions: "Should we be inclusive?" "Can we do inclusion?" and "Is now the time for inclusion?", Dr. Eslava says: yes!
The lecture looked at inclusion at a deeper level by answering YES to these three questions, with Dr. Eslava sharing research and the reasoning behind each answer. Tuesday's conference gave us all the opportunity to understand the shift in paradigm we are living in the 21st century, from one that celebrates 'normalcy' to one that values diversity and understands individuality. We learned that IQ is an outdated measure of intelligence, replaced by the realization that we all have different profiles in talents and abilities. We saw research showing that parents who have experienced inclusion embrace it, and that children who've lived it become the strongest advocates for it. These children are the ones who will redefine our society into one that values diversity. Among the points that Dr. Eslava made during his presentation, he reminded us that the question now is not: “are you normal or abnormal?”, because really, our uniqueness and complexity means there is no 'normal' human being. Instead, we are asking: “what are you good at?" and "what do you need?”, as driving questions for a community that understands that every individual has a worthy and unique contribution to make, and that every one of us needs something to help us do this.
At ASFM, we are saying YES, we should do inclusion, we can do inclusion, and now is the time!
Thank You Dr. Eslava for sharing your knowledge and experience, and thank you to EPU and Red PaPaz for giving parents and staff this opportunity.