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What is Inclusion
Inclusion is the acceptance of all people regardless of their differences. It is about appreciating people for who they are because even though we are all different, we are one. Inclusion allows people to value differences in each other by recognizing that each person has an important contribution to make to our society (Shafik Abu-Tahir as cited in Dattilo, 2002, p. 26).
Inclusion in recreation is more than allowing children with and without disabilities to participate in the same activity. In order for inclusive services to be successful, inclusion must be a value that is shared by all parties involved, including agencies, staff, families, participants, and the greater community. With appropriate training and education on inclusion and disabilities, managers can ensure that their employees are able to provide services that embrace the value of inclusion.
Two friends play together at school
With the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July 1990, efforts were made to physically include individuals with disabilities in recreation programs. While buildings were being remodeled to accommodate wheelchairs and other adaptive devices, it became evident that more than physical structures would need to change in order for individuals with disabilities to be included in programs, and have the same opportunities to succeed as individuals without disabilities.
According to Stuart Schleien, Fredrick Green, and Charlsena Stone (1999), the concept of inclusion is a continuum of three levels of acceptance ranging from a physical level to a social level. Social inclusion, the final and highest level, can be achieved only after the first two levels of inclusion have been met.
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This online resource has been created through a collaborative project of the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) with content and design development by the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) and the Indiana University School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. This project is funded through Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number U59/CCU522742-02 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.
All rights reserved. No part of this guide may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Copyright 2013, Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.