Which Should Be Defended: Inclusion or Segregation?
New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense
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.
Segregation is the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality.
Martin Luther King, Jr.