Inclusion in the Community

"Presence without participation can be more isolating than no presence at all"
Quass & Fraser "Beyond the Ramp" report 1994 p 44.

What is inclusion?

Inclusion is the process whereby every person (irrespective of age, disability, gender, religion, sexual preference or nationality) who wishes to can access and participate fully in all aspects of an activity or service in the same way as any other member of the community. Inclusion requires time, space, effort and resources but it creates a society which is:

Inclusion vs Integration in the Community

Inclusion is often confused with integration. Integration means the physical presence of a person with disability. This may mean specialised classes or segregated group activities outside of mainstream classes in an education setting. It can also mean a person with disability being in a mainstream class but having a separate program or not enjoying the same social and learning outcomes as other class members.

What is inclusive education?

"There is a world of difference between, on the one hand, offering courses of education and training and then giving some students who have learning difficulties (intellectual disability) some additional human or physical aids to gain access to those courses, and, on the other hand, redesigning the very processes of learning, assessment and organisation so as to fit the objectives and learning styles of the student. But only the second philosophy can claim to be inclusive."
Inclusive Learning, Report on Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities Committee, UK 1996

Inclusive education is accessible by all – people are not turned away.

Inclusive education involves adjusting curriculum, assessment practices, systems, teaching styles and the physical environment to allow all people to participate equally. The emphasis is on the provider making changes to enable the student to participate fully in all classroom and other activities. This is now a legislative requirement for all adult education providers under the Education Standards 2005 and forms part of the requirements to most funding agreements.

Most adult education providers are warm and welcoming, but inclusion may also require:

The benefits of an inclusive approach for the ACE sector

By adopting an inclusive approach to education you can gain:

Inclusion tips for ACE providers

Above all, attitude can be the greatest barrier to inclusion which often requires a creative shift in thinking rather than large financial expenditure.

Resources that promote inclusion

Making your centres truly inclusive takes planning, time, skill and equipment. With this in mind the ACE DisAbility Network has compiled a resource guide to support inclusion of people with disabilities in ACE: Disability Training and Resource Options for Training Providers.

Inclusion websites