New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense
Segregation is the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Which Should Be Defended: Inclusion or Segregation?
For years, activists have worked diligently to ensure children and adults with disabilities are included in all areas of society: home, school, work, community, etc., instead of being physically and socially isolated in “special” segregated settings. In these efforts, we have attempted to influence, cajole, or persuade others; used legal remedies; and/or participated in campaigns, demonstrations, or other activities. In short, we have spent enormous amounts of time and energy defending the inclusion of children and adults with disabilities. But as I described in another article (“Inclusion: The Natural State”), inclusion is the natural state—every person is born included! The segregation/exclusion of children and adults with disabilities is not the result of their medical diagnoses, but is caused by our actions.
Before going further, perhaps a definition of “inclusion” is in order. My computer dictionary defines “include” as: “incorporate, comprise, encompass, embrace, involve, be composed of.” But perhaps the easiest way to define it is to examine its opposite: to exclude. If a person with a disability is excluded from an ordinary environment, he is, by definition, not included. Click here to continue.