Stepping Towards an Inclusive Society
An inclusive society is about the dignity and worth of every person. This is the backbone of ALL human rights. Though there have been some improvements in our society over the last few years, disabled people and their families still confront isolation and exclusion. They continue to be pushed to the fringes of society.
To overcome this incongruous situation, we as a society need to change our attitude, begin a shift in perspective even. An inclusive attitude and behavior enable us to overthrow prejudices and raze down barriers that we have created overages.
Inclusive Society – What is it?
A socially inclusive environment is a place where everyone is welcomed. It is one where one feels comfortable enough to realize their identity and express their feelings. Social inclusion assures that one’s opinions are honored, just like anyone else’s.
Why is an Inclusive Society important?
Social inclusion plays a crucial role in determining the health of a person. Without inclusion, people are more prone to poor mental health, loneliness, isolation, and poor self-esteem.
Social inclusion enables a more positive and healthier human experience.
Social inclusion enables people:
- To feel a sense of belonging.
- To feel worthy of their roles in the community.
- To be an active participant of the community.
- To have peers/companions and not feel being left out.
- To build social relationships.
Some crucial ways to nurture a more inclusive society:
Here are some of the ways through which greater inclusivity can be brought about. If each one of us can stay aware of these steps and keep pushing for them wherever we are, an inclusive world would no longer remain just a dream.
Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities
Providing equal opportunities for people with disabilities would enable in creating a more inclusive society. However, the disability community is still discriminated against at work from being refused a job or denied a final interview. This can be overcome by training the staff and creating awareness among the employers to view the person as an asset and not a liability.
Increase Disability Representation in Political Setting
People with disabilities encounter architectural, attitudinal and technological barriers when exercising their right to vote, including, no automatic door openers, narrow doorways, and inaccessible voting machines to name a few.
We need to encourage our younger generations with disabilities to become politically involved. Political parties need to encourage persons with disabilities in their cadre and eventually give them platforms to contest in elections. All this would help to create a more inclusive political setting.
Integrate Disability History in School Curriculums
Disability history needs to be integrated within the school system so that the disability community will be fully acknowledged. With the inclusion of disability history, the community can be embraced by everyone and it enables mutual respect and empathy towards each other.
Promote Social Inclusion in Schools
As a society, we have the responsibility to promote the inclusion of our differences and it should be instilled in young minds. We should celebrate our peers for their differences and it should be taught at a young age. This will result in less discrimination and more social inclusion.
Provide College Scholarships to Athletes with Disabilities
Athletes with disabilities should be scouted and receive scholarships based on their athletic abilities. People should be acknowledged for their abilities rather than their disabilities and should be encouraged to participate in more events.
Realize that People with Disabilities are Humans
The most essential change that is needed in society is to see a person with a disability as a person and realize that their disability does not define who they are and it is only a part of their life.
People with disabilities have desires, skills, talents, heartache, and emotions, just like everyone else. This should be the basis of every person’s understanding and interaction with people with disabilities. That we all share these similarities which include people with disabilities as well.
Creating an inclusive society may not happen in a year or a decade, but it is not impossible to attain. Taking the first step and moving towards creating an inclusive society will bear fruits for the coming generations. With proper training, awareness, and acceptance, an inclusive society is certainly achievable.
Do share your thoughts on this subject with us, in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you 🙂
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