Nowadays everyone is (or should be) a champion for diversity and inclusivity, but what does that really mean?
According to digital tech source, Built In:
“Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique, while inclusion refers to the behaviours and social normal that ensure people feel welcome.”
One example of diversity is those of us who are differently abled, whether that’s a visible or invisible disability, and making sure that we feel included, represented and involved in society. But how can we do that?
The world has moved beyond the bare necessity of wheelchair ramps and priority seating.
Nowadays we’re lucky to have access to everything from quiet rooms for people with anxiety and other mental health issues to sci-fi standard wearable tech, refreshable Braille displays to high-tech all-terrain racing wheelchairs…
And that’s all well and good, but what can we personally do to make others feel included? Well, we can learn to speak their language!
BBC News recently posted a video interview focusing on Jade, an ambitious teenager who’s running a campaign to introduce sign language as a part of the school curriculum.
From birth, doctors said that Jade’s younger brother Christian would ‘never be able to communicate’, due to brain trauma.
Defying the odds, his sister dedicated her time to learn sign language to teach him, and now the duo are a social media hit, releasing videos of them signing along to pop songs to raise sign language awareness.
This year, Jade started her petition to make sign language lessons a part of the primary curriculum – her petition now has over 100,000 signatures. Click here to get involved.
The BBC reported that some schools, like the east London James Woolfe Schools, already have sign language on their curriculums, but to take the programme nationwide would be a huge step towards real inclusivity for deaf and hard of hearing young people.
Does inclusivity and accessibility mean a lot to you? If you’re looking for unis, colleges or employers, make sure you discuss your needs with them, and look into their accessibility statements, their site adaptations and their student welfare and support offerings.
For more on welfare, have a look at our website.
LUCY HARDING is an English Literature grad and an MA Publishing student at UCL. She is passionate about international relations and cultural diversity, having worked closely with her university’s Erasmus society to support European students. She also spent a year abroad studying at California State University: Long Beach
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