The other day, I attended one workshop on inclusion where we discussed how to include people with disabilities in the society, and I learned something important which changed my idea on inclusion.
I was interested in this workshop since I am developing one project on inclusive educationーeducation system/process which tries to promote the right of every child, regardless of gender, mother tongue, ethnicity, disabilities, poverty, etc., and prepare as much as possible through training teachers and parents.
The general tendency on inclusive education
In fact, I was a bit skeptical about this workshop whose main idea was including people with disabilities only, which is the general tendency in this field, although the the main idea of real inclusion is to include everyone.
Learning happens in unexpected way
As I said in the beginning, I learned something very important. Interestingly, the learning happened during the lunch time, instead of workshop session.
Before that lunch, there was a group where I discussed inclusion issue with the representative of deaf people through the help of 2 interpret: the one who used sign language and the other who translated that into English. He wanted to keep discussing with me during the lunch, and I accepted with pleasure. However, the lunch table was too small for 4 people (me, him and 2 interprets), so we had to look for someone who knew both sign language and English. Luckily there was one person who was capable of doing both who kindly accepted to move to our table (she was already eating in other table though).
We discussed a lot of things including difficulties that deaf people tend to have. During this whole conversation, I learned the following 3 things.
- Without interpret, it is impossible to communicate with deaf people and vise versa, and in general there is no interpret in daily life.
- The interpret could not eat because she was using hands and mouth all the time.
- People without disabilities take for granted the fact that there are lots of resources which are only for them, which is applicable not only to disabilities but also to other types of different needs.
I am satisfied with having had that learning opportunity which happened thanks to the interpret who ended up eating cold soup because of her job for us. In general, this kind of learning happens in unexpected moment.
Experience is the key to the inclusion
I became interested in inclusive education when I worked in this field in Latin America where there are many ethnic minorities (that’s also why I believe in the diversity of the inclusion, not only for people with disabilities).
After this lunch with this deaf person, I decided to try to include subtitle as well as audio in the every video I will develop for projects. If someone asks why there are both, I can explain the idea of inclusion, which could be good activity for public awareness raising.
In fact, this media (blog) is not so friendly for blind people, thus I would try to include as much sound as possible (although I don’t know how at this moment).
Leaning of this time
A new experience can teach something interesting as well as the something we take for granted in general, thus having a diverse experience is the key to the inclusion.