In the Community Participation Initiative, we assume that community organizations will be welcoming to people with disabilities. They will include whoever would like to engage in the programs they offer that are open to everyone. People with disabilities are respected and supported to participate and not segregated into “special” programs. And for the most part we have found this assumption to be correct. In April 2011, a Network was formed as a result of Building a Community of Belonging: A Forum of The Arcadia Institute and Its Partners. The Network has been meeting monthly and has been working on the development of a Commitment to Inclusions Checklist. This checklist can be a tool for organizations to use to determine where they are intentionally being inclusive and where they might want to make some adjustments – so that all people can belong in their activities.
What might you like to see on such a checklist? What do organizations do that make all people feel welcome? What can all people do to support people with disabilities so they can successfully participate in our community?
Please share your comments with us below or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at The Arcadia Institute Facebook Page.
Anyone is welcome to come to The Network meetings. The next one is August 22 from 9AM – 11AM at the YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo on Maple St.