Versión en Español

SPIRAL OF INCLUSION

By París Uki.

Inclusion is a group process, not a physical state or immutable property. I consider necessary to accept that one never gets to be completely inclusive, because with every individual that enters or leaves a group at any given time, this group changes and adapts. A group is a system of interpersonal relations which I see as a living organism, open and permeable.

I visualize this process as a path towards inclusion. A spiralled path where the person is located at the center. From there we walk on processes of access, active participation and collective learning, and back again through these same processes with every new experience. The spiral broadens and deepens. Therefore, inclusion is an ideal that impulses me forward and should be in continuous revision and change, according to the characteristics and needs of the individuals forming the group at any given time.

STAGES ON THE PATH

If the person(s) stand at the center of the process, social change therefore begins with oneself.

At this stage in my life I have identified phases in the process of personal transformation towards the values of inclusive coexistence and, by extension, of cultural transformation towards social inclusion.

1. Recognising the VALUE of BEING a person. Every person has value.

Away with labels and prejudice. We are persons and every person is different. Diversity is natural, an essential characteristic of life.

Recognise the value you have: connect with your ADN at every moment of your life. What is your Attitude? What do you Desire in life? What is your Necessity in life?

Evaluate your own resources (here and now): what do I know, what do I have, what am I capable of. Starting from your own resources, you can take the first step towards what you wish: your Dream.

Move in order to satisfy authentic needs in life. One generally goes through life satisfying artificial needs and we tend to forget what it is we really need to live the life that truly deserves to be lived.

If you wish to get deeper: dive into #DIVERSITY #IDENTITY

2. Accept LIMITS and learn to ASK FOR HELP. Every person needs other persons to survive.

Our resources are limited. Likewise, we have our own limits: physical, cognitive, andemotional.

Human beings are in a continuous relation with the environment to survive, we are biologically eco­dependent. We are also socially interdependent, we need others to survive.

Therefore, I recognise my limits and accept interdependency. I can ask for help/support from other individuals in order to access and actively participate in the community.

If you wish to get deeper: dive into #PERSONAL LIMITS #SOCIAL INTERDEPENDENCY

3. Rescue SELF­DETERMINATION. Anyone is able to take decisions about their own life.

Only oneself knows what he/she needs and how to achieve it, either by our own means, or asking for help ­[see previous stage]­, it depends on one ́s own decision.
Every one of us has the capacity for self­determination: we can choose and make decisions that concern our own life.

This capacity is acquired and developed in relation with the environment: the more opportunities arise in the environment (family, socio­cultural, and natural), the more I have to learn and develop my capacity for self­determination, and vice-versa.

Freedom in making decisions necessarily implies being responsible for the consequence of my actions.

If you wish to get deeper, dive into #FREEDOM / RESPONSIBILITY

4. Visualise the social BARRIERS that make it difficult or stop you from participating in a social life.

Access and active participation in social life is necessary for any person to fully realise their development potential.

The environment in which we live contains or creates barriers that prevent access and participation of some individuals,­ the so-­called barriers of social exclusion. Each individual faces diverse barriers depending on her/his capacities, needs and limitations.

These barriers are not visible for everyone because they are subjective. One can give these barriers visibility and convert them into inter­subjective barriers. It is common not to see those barriers some other people do see, and it is therefore necessary to exercise sensibility and manage to “see through the eyes and experiences of others” (identification or resonance with the experience). Once visualised as social barriers, it shall be possible to activate mechanisms of group responsibility for the adaptation and transformation of the environment.

The tools and forms for barrier visualisation and transformation are numerous. From my own experience, theater (specifically Image Theater) is one of the tools that strengthens expression of social barriers experienced by individuals in our environment.

Inclusion therefore assumes a radical change of focus: to cease “watching diversity through hegemonic eyes” and start “listening attentively to the voice of diversity”.

If you wish to get deeper, dive into #SOCIAL MODEL OF DISABILITY #SOCIAL THEORY OF IDENTITY

5. To generate a SUPPORT net and resources to transform barriers. It is a civil responsibility to allow access and active participation in citizenship.

I assume my own responsibility in expressing and visualising my own barriers, free of any prejudice. In a group that strives to be inclusive, we share the responsibility of creating resources and support nets. To be responsible ­at a personal and group level ­also implies to be mindful of sustainability limits.

Inclusion proposes an important shift of focus. From the focus on the “other” who is unlike the group and is expected to make an effort towards being the same (the perspective of integration), we put forward the socio­communitary focus: it is the group itself made of individuals and the environment that should adapt in order for said individuals to feel included in the specific activities being undertaken as a social group. To access, to actively participate and to learn together with the individuals pertaining to the group.

If you wish to get deeper, dive into #LIMITS and #SUSTAINABILITY.

6. To interiorise the spiralled PROCESS. We live the values in and through ourselves.

The view on inclusive coexistence that I put forward in this blog is not about “identity groups”, it is about persons. Myself as a person, I am reflecting in this blog on my own experiences: my limits, the social barriers I encounter, the support I need and my own responsibility in the process.

On a daily basis, I interiorise the values of inclusive coexistence and transform myself. Connecting with other individuals, in my case through the workshops, I am sharing spaces of coexistence and activating their inclusive nature. We can therefore transform our relation with the environment and the environment itself.

Little by little, person by person, step by step, we surely can transform culture.