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Inclusion Column

What can we do as a community to facilitate inclusion?

  By: Alejandra Pérez

Inclusion means to give an equal opportunity for all. It means giving everyone an equal chance to participate fully in a society, especially to those groups who have been traditionally excluded, based on age, gender, disability or race (United Nations, 2016). How can we achieve this in our community?

As teachers:

  • Be flexible - make changes and modifications necessary for all students to have access to learning; make accommodations based on their specific needs; adapt your style of teaching if that’s what’s needed.
  • Listen to our students - what do they have to say? Avoid interruptions. Listen actively. What do they need?
  • Promote diversity - have all children learn together to teach them to value diversity and lay the foundation for an inclusive society.

As parents:

  • Be mindful of our language - let’s be considerate about the way we speak about groups that have been historically excluded, showing sensitivity and respect.
  • Talk about inclusion - discuss it, challenge stereotypes and prejudices, question the assumptions we make about others.
  • Be a role model - be an example for your children, with your actions and words; being respectful towards others.

As a community:

  • Increase participation - listen to others and make their voices be heard.
  • Promote the development of inclusive programs and policies - let’s ask for what our children need –what we all need, really– to our schools and to our government.
  • Celebrate our differences - they make our community stronger. Celebrating who we are impacts positively on our wellbeing. Let’s empower those who’ve been excluded for so long and encourage them to build up their strengths.
  • Keep an open mind - be open to different perspectives, new practices and experiences, diversity … There's so much we can enrich our community with. Let’s not limit ourselves!
  • Keep learning - we must increase our knowledge on inclusive practices, we may not have all the answers right now, but that is okay. The more we can learn about it, the more we can do about it.