According to a story in USA today, one mother in Loveland, Ohio, Mary Alten “remembers being determined, yet afraid, when she enrolled her daughter in preschool”. Her daughter, Toni Alten-Crowe was born with Down Syndrome. Mary Alton was told to put her daughter in a school specifically for people with disabilities.
Posts Tagged 'inclusion'
I always learn so much when I give presentations. I love it! A few weeks ago I presented to a group of campus recreation professionals on ways that they can prepare their fitness staff so that they are able to provide inclusive services. My favorite thing happened during this presentation – it quickly turned from a lecture that I was giving to a discussion that everyone was involved in. People started asking questions and giving each other resources and ideas. I hope it was as informative for everyone who attended as it was for me.
“Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me!” You are probably all familiar with that ridiculous rhyme that is thrown about as if it is some sort of protective device against verbal bullying. Name calling, slurs, and insults do hurt, of course, and people with disabilities and challenges have almost certainly had their share of such experiences. Unfortunately, sports do not have a long history of promoting acceptance, inclusion, or recognizing the value of special needs athletes. The combination of intolerance and exclusion tends to encourage athletes to use harsh and judgmental language to ridicule the performances of an athlete that does not measure up to a particular standard.
Our culture has introduced the idea of inclusion (age appropriate participation with our peers) for years. Laws support it, schools teach it, and many advocates work tirelessly to bring the concept of disability awareness, inclusion, and participation into schools, workplaces, and general communities.
Because there is often a lack of inclusive equipment in community fitness centers, people with disabilities may have to get creative. More often than not, they must find ways to make use of the equipment that was not designed with their needs in mind. While having to find ways to use the existing equipment is not optimal, it may be necessary until more fitness centers provide equipment that is inclusive and accessible for everyone.
This summer my mom told me that she was surprised that I didn’t watch that reality show The Amazing Race. She said it seemed like something I would like. I admitted that the only reason I didn’t watch was that everyone else seemed to watch it and it always won the Emmy every year and I tend to be one of those people that doesn’t like to jump on the bandwagon. I mean hey, I loved the Atlanta Braves when they were horrible and then happily adopted the Chicago Cubs in 2000 where I proudly watched them finish dead last in their division.