Your Interpretation of their Story IS NOT THEIR STORY! Allowing individuals with disabilities to share their own story allows us to move forward in these 5 key areas:
1. Empowerment: encourages individuals to continue sharing within the community because their voice is being heard. It also empowers others to tell their story.
2. Connection: allows others to hear stories of individuals with disabilities, someone may relate to something they say when they are telling their own story, some may not understand what it means to have a disability, understanding that disability does not mean inability.
3. Change: real life examples through first-person experiences of how disability does not mean inability, and what it looks like to incorporate things such as accommodations within society to allow for a more inclusive environment.
4. Authenticity: cultivating authenticity allows each individual to show up exactly who they are and speak their truth within their own story.
5. Inclusion: we show what inclusion looks like through including individuals with disabilities in the conversation. Action is the first step in inclusion, we can not continue to talk about "what it may look like to have a more inclusive society."
CALL TO ACTION
1. I challenge you to hire individuals with disabilities and allow them to tell their story.
2. Allow them to take part in the conversation of inclusion and provide strategies, resources and their personal experience of what inclusion looks like from their perspective!
Including Individuals with Disabilities in the Conversation of Inclusion is INCLUSION!