What does it mean to fully include a person who has a physical or mental disablitlty? I believe that each of us must first accept that person who looks or acts differently than us, as if they are our own child or student with love and faith. A wise person once told me that if you don't accept someone else, how can you accept yourself? Deep, right? But, I believe that we have to dive down deep to find out more so that we can help support and provide our time and services for to all people.
A current example is I believe that you would accept a student in your class who has an anger issue. But this acceptance is a process and requires your effort and increased knowledge of this student and his/her needs. In addition, you want to provide him a rich education and allow him to learn over time at his own pace. A second benefit is the love from this child to you. Your acceptance of him as your own, allowed you to understand him at his level of strengths and weaknesses. These two benefits (the child's and yours) will provide you with so much energy, added skills and continued growth. My suggestion is to follow your heart and these two simple steps of caring and when you care for more people who has special needs, then you care for everybody in the world. It's a real true blessing and a great honor to enhance and provide your support for those who are less fortunate then you.
This passion to help others and is the main reason why I started to educate, volunteer and work with children and adults who are less fortunate whomever that may be. We all have gifts in life, my gift came to me as a child. At an early age, I knew that I wanted to be bridge for the able population and the disabled so they would get along, understand and accept all kinds of peoples, and help each other like friends do. Accepting my gift that I received from God, I am now fully ready to take on the responsibility and the skills that comes with this high working task.
I have studied many different organizations that serve the disabled in so many ways. Sesame Street is a great modern day example of full inclusion and trying to overcome stereotypes in the disability world. Sesame Street just came out with a book and a show on air a few months ago that introduced a well loved and appreciated character, Julia. Julia has Autism and Elmo includes her into his community of friends. Up in Northern Italy, this little town of Reggio Emilia does the same thing but to a different level by engaging the child who has the physical or mental disability with other students who do not have disabilities to learn and to grow together so they may learn to accept and understand each other. There's more services and programs that help support the lives of the disability community such as TERI Inc. Campus Of Life up in Oceanside, Autism Speaks Inc., and more and more other services that has similar qualities. There are even shows and movies of modern day that accepts disabilities such as Jamie Brewer starring in "American Horror Story" with making way with starring in three seasons, appeared in the forth season and might star in this current season. She is a young actress who has Down Syndrome who is 32 years old. (To read more about her amazing and inspiring story, read more at the end of this blog.)
According to Weiten, Dunn, and Hammer in their book "Psychology Applied To Modern Life" (9th Ed), .6% of the world accepts and includes people with disabilities into their programs and daily events. It's just currently the U.S. focus is on other areas of difference such as Race, Religion, Sexual orientation, and Ethnicity/National. But these concerns warrant another blog. I am glad to spread the word to the world of the benefits of understanding and accepting a person who has a disability. Other countries don't have these current resources and the educational materials that we have here in the United States.
Take an article for example from the Independent Living Institute by the Office of the President (n.d ) and what they have published on the prevalence of the disabled community in South Africa. According to this article, 99% are not working and those who are working cannot provide for themselves, "workshops do not provide these people sustainable incomes or opportunities for competitive economic activity." There are many more countries that have inadequate resources are not great at accepting those with intellectual disabilities. The following scores represent the countries acceptance and assistance of the disabled. Higher scores represent more acceptance and a low score would represent an unhealthy and unaccepting environment for a disabled person. Haiti has a with a low score of 38%, Cameroon and other Sub-Saharan African countries also receive low scores of 32%, Kyrgyzstan in the former Soviet Union region has a score of 32%, Malaysia and some additional Asian countries continue the decline in scores to 26%, and finally Yemen in the Middle East and Northern Africa receive the lowest score of 24% probably due to the poor, harsh conditions and not enough food, water and safety.
Let's now turn to the countries that are more receptive to those with intellectual disabilities. According to a Amanda L. Chan from "Healthy Living", The Netherlands receives the highest score of 91% and provides the most support for those with intellectual disabilities. New Zealand follows with a score of 90%, Canada with a sore of 86%, Syria with a score of 79%, Mali with a score of 74%, and the residents of Belarus were the most likely in the former Soviet Union region scored of 56%,
There, with all of that said, you can safety say that only a fraction of the countries in the world today are and receptive to those whom have intellectual disabilities. More countries need to be encouraged to change from current practices of not acceping and being receptive to those whom have intellectual disabilities. Even the United States can work toward a higher acceptance and understanding of the disabled community. I think everyone can be better than where we now. Love is patient and open to all different types of peoples. Let us keep growing and be accepting in love and faith and let us also know that everyone has the ability to achieve the same or similar skill-sets and education as everybody else. Start accepting others, love others as they want to be seen and loved, and treat others as the same.
Fandon. (n.d) American Horror Story Wiki Retrieved by http://americanhorrorstory.wikia.com/wiki/Jamie_Brewer
Huffpost, Amanda Chan (2011, Aug 29 ) Healthy Living "The Most (And Least) Receptive Places For People With Intellectual Disabilities" Retrieved by http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/29/intellectual-disability-country_n_886348.html
TERI Inc. Campus Of Life (2017) Retrieved by https://www.teriinc.org/
Sesame Street (2017) Storybook, Retrieve by http://autism.sesamestreet.org/storybook-we-are-amazing/
Child Centered, Reggio Emilia (2016) Children's Garden of Learning by KTC, Retrieved by http://childrensgarden-vail.com/