31 Days of SMA: Inclusion and Acceptance

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by Kevin Schaefer |

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Day 19 of 31 Days of SMA⠀ Topic: Inclusion⠀ ⠀ This is @maythesunrise story ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Do you know those gushy, feel-good headlines about the class valedictorian asking the girl with a disability out senior prom? Do you know how those stories get dispersed all over the news?⠀ ⠀ Now, do you know WHY this happens?⠀ ⠀ For a society that is so self-proclaimed "inclusive," it sure leaves a lot to be desired. ⠀ ⠀ Currently, we live in a world where abled bodied people are celebrated for engaging in the smallest of actions with a person with a disability, i.e. asking a differently abled person out to prom. We also celebrate the disabled with a variety of "compliments." "You are such an inspiration! You are so brave for doing (blank)! I don't know how you do it, I would have given up!" Heck, we even have laws that are meant to implement equality, but half of the time they're not even enforced or known of!⠀ ⠀ But it's time for society to understand some fundamental truths if we truly aim to become inclusive. Inclusivity is NOT condescension, pity, special treatment, exclusion, or fear of people with disabilities. Inclusion IS, however, the understood notion that people who are differently abled can (and do) successfully participate in life as valuable members of society just like everybody else. ⠀ ⠀ So let's end this false inclusion rhetoric and really achieve what we as humans are all capable of. Let us believe in inclusion without having to think about it. Let us naturally accept people with disabilities as they are, for what they are, and for who they are. Don't "include" the disabled because it makes you feel better; include us because we are human, too.

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