Definition of Inclusion
Inclusion assumes that all children, regardless of ability or disability, have the right to:
- Be respected and appreciated as valuable members of the community
- Fully participate in all activities
- Interact with peers of all ability levels in opportunities to develop friendships and learn and respect differences
Examples of levels of participation include:
- Physical access: The physical environment is accessible to all; no supports for participation are necessary. For instance, there is no special entrance or door for people with disability because the common door is accessible to all. The furniture has enough space around it to be navigable by anyone, including those who use devices for mobility such as wheelchairs, walkers, and canes.
- Programmatic access: Physical access and communication resources are accessible in multiple formats to meet the needs of people with diverse abilities. For example, written, verbal, and hands-on instructions are available. To ensure programmatic access, supports may be needed (e.g., volunteers and/or technology). Programmatic access also includes marketing, promotion, and other awareness and outreach activities that ensure all community members are aware of and feel welcomed to programs, facilities, and events.