Participation in assemblies, sports, and public events. This can be referred to as “community inclusion”; individuals with all types of disabilities taking part in all kinds of social events, activities, and pastimes with the support they need to be successful. While some individuals with special needs tend to do well in the community, some individuals are deprived of this fundamental right.
What is a community?
A community is everything that a school is not. Some examples include:
- A place of worship; mosque, church, etc
- Boys/girls scouts
- Art theaters
- Leisure activities: i.e. Cinema, restaurant, cafe
- Public events, meetings, forums
- Extra curricular activities such as dance, martial arts, fine arts, etc
Why Is Inclusion so Difficult?
True inclusion is challenging. Inclusion in the community is not just a matter of having wheelchair accessibility and braille lettering on bathroom doors. It is far beyond.It means that all people, regardless of their abilities, disabilities, or health care needs, have the right to be respected and appreciated as valuable members of their communities. MCSN will help you and your family understand these challenges and overcome them. MCSN will help you to break down the barriers to inclusion that exist and support you to feel valued.
The first step would be to assess your child or family member to see whether they’re interested in the community program or event. Based on the interest of the individual, we assess the situation and break it down into small practical steps and work on teaching the client how to participate in the activity. For example, if our objective is to support your child or family member go to the movie theater. We start by breaking down the activity experience into small steps, using visual charts. First, you arrive at the movie theater. Second, we stand in line to buy tickets. Third, we buy tickets. Fourth, we stand in line to buy snacks, and so on and so forth. To take these simple steps into reality, we create a make-shift environment at MCSN to do hands-on practice with your child or family member. Finally, we train you as parents or caregivers in how to support your child or family member to follow the steps as practiced when in the community. This would involve taking into account any external factors, that may make the situation more complex (i.e. someone cuts in front of you in the queue, loud noise, film they want to see is not showing that day) As a parent or a caregiver, we train you how to handle such situations and guide you to “Plan B”.
This is a process that needs patience and dedication. , which will ultimately yield huge rewarding results. Enabling a child or adult who struggles to appropriately engage in social situations and public spaces, the ability to do this comfortably with support is a milestone that marks their ability to live a rich and fulfilling life.