Acceptance is a prompt hand-picked for a post about disability inclusion, right? There are so many directions and I've written about ways to teach our children to be accepting of disabilities and the difference between tolerance and acceptance.
If you talk with parents of children with disabilities or read some of the many parent blogs, you will discover a common thread; parents want their children with disabilities to be accepted for who they are. (Really, it's what ALL parents want for their children...)
Our task as advocates of inclusion is to create spaces where people will be able to say, “Thank you for accepting me for who I am while giving me the courage to grow, explore and reach past my own perceived limitations.”
That’s it. That’s the true measure of inclusion.
At the end of the day it's really not about whether we have the right teaching strategies or the right classroom structure or the right supports. Those things matter, to be sure. I am not making light of the importance of these constructs. But what we most need to give our students, our congregants, our friends and our family members with disabilities is the gift of acceptance. We must accept each of them for who they are while giving them the courage to grow, explore and reach beyond their own perceived limitations.
I know it is possible.