Inclusion (disability rights)

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Video produced by a network of Mexican museums and Wiki Learning Tec de Monterrey to promote accessibility to cultural institutions in this country

Inclusion is a term used by people with disabilities and other disability rights advocates for the idea that all people should take action to freely accommodate people with a physical, mental, cognitive, and or developmental disability. For example providing ramps and accessible toilets in meeting facilities or providing additional intervention and resources in the education system are known as 'universal design'[citation needed] or efforts towards the goal of inclusion.[1]

The concept of inclusion emphasizes universal design for policy-oriented physical accessibility issues, such as ease-of-use of physical structures and elimination of barriers to ease movement in the world, but the largest part of its purpose is on being culturally transformational. Inclusion typically promotes disability studies as an intellectual movement and stresses the need for disabled people—the inclusion-rights community usually uses the reclaimed word "cripple" or "crip" instead—to immerse themselves into mainstream culture through various modes of artistic expression. Inclusion advocates argue that melding what they term "disability-art" or "dis/art" into mainstream art makes integration of different body types unavoidable, direct, and thus positive.[citation needed] They argue it helps able-bodied people deal with their fears of being or becoming disabled, which, unbeknownst to the person, is usually what underlies both the feelings of "inspiration" and feelings of pity s/he may have when watching a disabled person moving in his or her unusual way(s), or in participating in activities that obviously draw attention to the person's condition(s).[citation needed][2] Inclusion advocates often specifically encourage disabled people who choose to subscribe to this set of ideas to take it upon themselves to involve themselves in activities that give them the widest public audience possible, such as becoming professional dancers, actors, visual artists, front-line political activists, filmmakers, orators, and similar professions.

Mainstreaming is allowing for a person with a disability to be a member of a "mainstream" environment without added difficulty by creating inclusive settings. For example, education acts such as IDEA or No Child Left Behind promotes inclusive schooling or mainstreaming for children with disabilities (such as Autism) so that they can be a part of the larger "typical" community.

Inclusion, an all-encompassing practice, ensures that people of differing abilities visibly and palpably belong to, are engaged in, and are actively connected to the goals and objectives of the whole wider society, as opposed to being labeled as "Other" amongst a "typically developed" individual.

Inclusivity in the United States works to create a fair environment, accepting of diversity through laws which promote the idea of mainstreaming and inclusivity. This inclusive attitude is quite divergent from how other countries treat those who are disabled. In other countries there is a prevalence of the medical model of disability focusing on the physical and/or mental therapies, medications, surgeries and assistive devices that might help to "normalize" or "fix" the disabled person so that they may have an easier time in their surrounding environment. This attitude of inclusion, which has a lot in common with the social model of disability, alleges that this entire approach is wrong and that those who have physical, sensory, intellectual, and/or development impairments are automatically put on a much more effective and fulfilling road to a good, complete, and 'full' life if they are, instead, looked at and valued by society from the outset as totally "normal" people who just happen to have these "extra differences" or are "differently abled". Like the social movements of feminism, anti-racism and gay rights before it, inclusion is often derided by critics from the right as naïvité, and by critics from the left as identity politics. As it looks less towards 'overcoming' and 'achieving', and more towards being and existing in the moment, inclusion by its very nature forces others in the world to possibly begin to accept those who may be different than themselves.

Resistance to inclusion in the US[edit]

Our society is equipped for those without disabilities[3]. This resistance to inclusion in the United States may be that the older architecture of its more prominent cities makes structural adjustment for disabled people costly and supposedly impractical, leading indirectly to a high measure of hostility towards disabled people lest they end up feeling 'entitled' to receive such adjustments automatically and unquestionably[citation needed].

Others tend to blame the attitude of Social Darwinism more generally, accusing it of corrupting the attitude of able-bodied people in the US in particular towards disabled people—often to the point that it prevents that country's culture from readily accepting disabled people in aspects and venues that are not directly legality or law-related, e.g. theater, film, dance, and sexuality. (See also the article Ableism.)[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Disability Inclusion | Disability and Health | NCBDDD". Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  2. ^ Haugen, HM (2006). "Writing the Self Determined Life". Ohio University. 
  3. ^ "Disability Barriers | Disability and Health | NCBDDD | CDC". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2018-02-05. Retrieved 2018-04-06. 

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