Inclusion is in education and in community is not simply being present. It is being allowed to participate to the best of your abilities. It means being able to access things in a meaningful way. It is being appreciated for what you can do and not being made to feel bad about your limitations.
Last night, I went to see Zootopia with Stuart. It is a movie that depicts a culture made up of all kinds of mammals doing their jobs. It’s very much like a giant Richard Scarry world.
What’s notable is that the culture is built around inclusion.
This scene that shows a juice shop that has a vertical pneumatic pipe for lifting cups up to giraffe level in addition to a counter.
This is a view of the train which has 3 separate doors for animals of different sizes. Although the small animals could use the full-size door, they have appropriate access to the train.
Check out the teeny car in a small-sized lane. The driver has access to the road without being at risk from larger vehicles.
And these details are all just that: little bits that are there to give breadth to the world, but are taken totally for granted by the animals in the world, which is how it should be.
Studies have shown that classroom inclusion is beneficial for everyone in the classroom when done well. Unfortunately inclusion isn’t always done well and the best predictor for how well inclusion will be implemented is your zip code. If you live in a better neighborhood, the schools will have better inclusion.