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Viewing entries tagged with 'assimilation'

Turning inclusion inside out

Posted by Philip on 14 June 2017, 6:46 pm in , , , , ,

Inclusion. Such a buzzword of our time. But, as I've written before, inclusion is but a whisper away from assimilation and colonisation. Currently, inclusion asks, "How can we include others in the mainstream? But, what if we asked, "How can we include the mainstream in others?" instead?

One of my clients, Be. Accessible, is achieving this inside-out version of inclusion admirably by referring to disabled people as access citizens and pointing out that, at some time in our lives (whether due to ageing, temporary or permanent injury or illness), everyone will be an access citizen. This disrupts the conversation about one in four people having 'special' needs (them) and the rest (us). It reframes the conversation — we're all in the same boat in regards to needing spaces and places to be accessible. This framing invites the mainstream into the access community.

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What does true diversity look like?

Posted on 26 April 2016, 10:43 am in , , , , , , , ,

Updated 7.45pm 26 April 2016: I have corrected the "assimilated" part of diagram. I also found out the original diagram is not Susie Sirman's (source unknown). 

The following tweet turned up in my feed this morning from Susie Sirman, from Alberta, Canada, a self-confessed "high school science and art teacher, learning coach, edtech enthusiast, busy mom and a terrible choice to follow on Twitter." So I followed her. But anyway, her tweet:

I like the model (further tweets between us revealed it isn't hers) and I agree with it to an extent. Simply putting different people in the same room isn't useful, but I think it is, unfortunately, what inclusion is about currently. It isn't, however, diversity.

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To be or not to be included — looking beyond the paradox

Posted by Philip on 11 July 2015, 12:20 pm in , , , , ,

Leeds_VisualParadoxReflecting this week on Helen Razer's recent article State sanctioned gay marriage is defeat by assimilationas well as being part of a civic process, about which if I told you I'd have to kill you, I've been pondering again the issue of the inclusion and representation of minority or marginalised groups in mainstream institutions and civic life.

Razer quotes US academic Yasmin Nair, asserting that the “'complicated and caring networks of friendship that exceeded the limitations of biological family or commonly understood relationships' we see developing in urban queer histories are now at risk of being forgotten and quashed."

I think this could be said of more than just queer histories. It would seem that indigenous, ethnic, disabled and other "othered" histories are at risk of decimation as the demand to be "part of mainstream life" — which really means "if you let me become part of your normal club I promise I'll play by your normal rules" — becomes the yardstick for success of every non-mainstream group.

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