When I think of inclusion for individuals with disabilities, I think of our daily habits. When you think of disability inclusion you may think of laws, accessibility, workplace, and all of these are relevant as well, but I want to challenge you to think from a different lens.
Below are real day to day situations which can be done today to make an impact in how we are viewing disability inclusion. Inclusion should not be viewed as a trend, it is apart of our daily lives and is here to stay.
1. Giving your last napkin to someone who just spilled a hot cup of coffee on their shirt.
2. Still leaving a tip for the waiter or waitress that was rude that may be having a bad day, but bringing it to their attention how it may have made you feel as a customer to utilize it as a learning opportunity instead of getting even with them. Maybe they did not realize it was affecting their customer service.
3. Waiting patiently in line for the receptionist that may be overwhelmed because it is their first day.
4. Stopping at the crosswalk and waiting patiently for the family to cross the street safely.
5. Waiting an extra minute to hold the door for someone that is coming in right behind you and then saying "Hello, how are you?"
These examples above may seem irrelevant or disconnected, but there are more connections then we realize that will impact how we sustain disability inclusion. Hiring an individual with a disability, developing assistive technology for an individual with a disability are all great ways that we are including individuals with disabilities. The real work starts with how we are treating one another, how we are patient with one another, how we help one another, how we are kind to one another, and how we show up for one another daily!
All of these daily habits are just as important as the laws that we are implementing, the technology that we are creating, and the workforce that we are changing to ensure individuals with disabilities are included! I can assure you that all of the daily habits allow us to sustain deeper connections, take the time to view things from a different perspective, and have more authentic conversations with individuals with disabilities daily.
The Resource Key Takeaways:
Our daily habits matter when we talk about disability inclusion.
Inclusion should not be viewed as a trend, it is apart of our daily lives and is here to stay.
Our daily habits are just as important as the laws that we are implementing, the technology that we are creating, and the workforce that we are changing to ensure individuals with disabilities are included.