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Tips for inclusion

Respect for one another means being willing to accept other people’s differences even if they look different from you, have a different religion or come from a different land. It also means treating other people the way you would want to be treated.

Inclusion is not about inserting persons with disabilities into existing structures, but about transforming systems to be inclusive of everyone. Inclusive communities put into place measures to support all children at home, at school, vocational centers, sports and cultural events and in their communities. When barriers exist, inclusive communities transform the way they are organised to meet the needs of all children.

Developmental/cognitive/learning disabilities

These disabilities vary tremendously and can sometimes be difficult to see. A person with a learning disability usually has average to above average intelligence but also has difficulty learning, remembering and communicating information. Learning disabilities come in many different forms and usually affect a person’s ability to complete school-related tasks. Some cognitive disabilities can be more severe and impact a person’s understanding. Developmental disabilities can also include sensory disorders, including autism.

Tips for inclusion:

§ Simplify language or restate and summarise information in a variety of ways.

§ Use visuals to represent abstract ideas.

§ Check in to make sure that the person understands the topic or activity to be completed.

§ Incorporate hands-on learning activities into routine.

Hearing and visual impairments

Other types of disability include people who have partial or complete loss of hearing or sight. Some people are born with the impairment (congenital) and others get it later in life (acquired). Another term for hearing impairment is deafness and for visual impairments is blindness.

Tips for inclusion:

§ Provide information in a variety of formats. For example, some people with hearing impairments use sign language, read lips or prefer information presented in written form.

§ When speaking to a person with a hearing impairment make sure to gain their attention first and use gestures when speaking.

§ Provide additional explanations for people who have visual impairments. If you are showing a picture, describe what it looks like. If you are handing out text, see if it can be provided in Braille. Or have the text read out loud.

Mobility impairments

Mobility or physical disabilities often mean a person uses assistive equipment such as a wheelchair, cane or prosthetic limb. Persons with physical disabilities may have difficulty with movement or self-care.

Tips for inclusion:

§ Make sure the facility that you are using is accessible. Avoid stairs and ensure doorways are wide enough to fit wheelchairs.

§ During hands-on activities check for any physical difficulties. Pair people up if they need help.

§ Check with the person to see what their needs are. Remain flexible and willing to adapt an activity for different abilities.

Psycho-social disabilities

An example of an invisible disability is a psycho-social disability. This category includes conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression and many others.

Tips for inclusion:

§ Treat the person with respect at all times and include their opinions and thoughts in discussions.

§ Allow for choice and autonomy during the program, flexible participation and discuss what their needs are ahead of time.

Source: It's about abilities, 2008





It's about ability

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Learning Guide

R-Word Campaign

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Convention on the Rights of the Child


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