Bloganuary Day 16
Let us normalise, more than ever, the inclusion of the special needs community in every aspect of our supposed ‘normal’ daily lives.
Let us not merely use our gifts and talent of talking endlessly and writing baseless policies about inclusion for the community of discussion here.
I roll my eyes every single time I hear people perceived to be in power talk to the masses about what they plan to do for special needs people. Okay, you said it, and what? How exactly are you gonna include them? What exactly do you plan to do? Are you just spewing a bunch of trending words and phrases because it will put the spotlight on you as you speak at some groundbreaking for development?
If you ask me, we ought to teach people how to ‘speak’ in sign. We need to ensure that buildings are accessible for more than people in wheelchairs. Put braille on every door and as many key items in a room. Adjust the lighting and sounds in spaces for those of us sensitive to light and sounds.
Put wall guards up so folks won’t walk into them. How about sidewalks? Do they exist in your neck of the woods? Are they useable much less accessible? Does your building have ramps? How about lifts/elevators? Ever thought about provisions for people with unseen special needs? I’m talking about those with an intellectual disability for example.
I could go deeper. We all could. However, I just wanted to give you a ‘toops’ (patois/patwa for a little bit).
I say all this to say that the language we use is important. However, we must delve deeper into the nitty-gritty of it all. Action and ‘not a bag a mout’ is how we truly effect inclusivity for the special needs community.
Members of the special needs community are very much part of the society we live in. So, act like they belong. They are not visitors. They are not aliens. They’re normal with differences and that’s normal. Treat them as such. Give them the same access as everyone else has. I know this is entitled inclusivity but it’s much more than that. It’s about equity and respect.
You asked about a cause or issue I’m passionate about…this is it. Let’s have a conversation.
Signed with love,
The Suburban Girl JA