In 2016, leaders of the United Arab Emirates changed the formal word “People with Special Needs” into “People of Determination”.
This is how the UAE has chosen to view the attributes of people with disabilities; a reflection of their strength of character, their perseverance and their courage.
Inclusion is not:
- Putting all people with determination into one class, one workplace, or a center.
- Feeling sorry for People of Determination.
- Taking selfies with People of Determination to get more likes.
What is Inclusion?
Inclusion is valuing and respecting all members of the community despite their learning disabilities and giving them opportunities and support in all aspects of life such as in recreational activities, jobs, schools and ergonomics of the environment.
Inclusion in Schools and Workplaces
A school culture that promotes inclusion:
- Encourages flexible instructional strategies
- Create peer support programs, to encourage positive attitudes towards POD
- Ensuring the ecosystem that the youth are growing alongside with students of determination in developing social and life skills together
Inclusive employment culture includes:
- Identify preferences and strengths
- Have a support service that would be individualized to the unique needs
- A good manager will ensure their team is constantly developing their employee’s individual professional development including those of people of determination
Positive inclusive attitude includes:
- No one is “too disabled” to be part of their community.
- Celebrate everyone’s uniqueness.
- Everyone is special
Always remember, it is your responsibility to continue the movement of creating an inclusive community.
I welcome and encourage you to reach out to me to have a discussion about your current activities and challenges whether you are a parent, educator, employer or even an employee, to further develop your skills in understanding and promoting inclusion. And remember you and “everyone is special”.