Words and terms and phrases like Inclusion are a social construct in the sense that we don't need them because we are all human and, in an ideal world, we should work together accordingly. However, society does not work like that so terms such as 'inclusion' and 'disability' are used to identify a sub-section of the population to make it easier for the structures of that society to function, i.e. what part of the economy do we fit into. "It's not that society actually cares". What does inclusion mean? Inclusion can take many forms and 'inclusion' is more than physical barriers. People need to start thinking beyond the ramp. Full inclusion is to do with attitude and actually including an individual - disability or not - as inclusion is about accepting everyone and working together on those terms. In other words, there needs to be an attitude sea change in the way in which we view disability. I am Gavin. I only have a disability because society says I have. Disability in itself is a social construct and doesn't actually exist if you look at it from a phenomenological perspective. Therefore it should be an individual's choice on whether they accept or reject the label that society gives them, but the way in which society is structured it is very difficult to do this. Furthermore, if an individual wants to be included in society, it is seen that they need to play by the rules that the label affords them.Inclusion is a very complex area and needs further discussion. As regards therapy and looking at it from a person-centred perspective, I believe as a therapist that we need to see where the individual sits on the spectrum of the above argument. Have they accepted, rejected or sought advantages from either their disability or their attempt to be included in society? A person's perspective is very individual to them and should be heard as such.

Last updated: 07 November 2020

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