Why AT is Inclusion?

As this is a new website and a new blog, I thought I would explain why I chose this website name, and why I truly do believe that Assistive Technology is a key to inclusion.  

To be truly included, a person needs to know that they belong.  I love this circle of belonging, from the Belonging Series through the TIES Center.

Circle with the word belonging in the middle, and around it are the words Present, Invited, Welcomed, Known, Accepted, Involved, Supported, Heard, Befriended, and Needed.

Each piece of this circle, starting at “Present” is a critical component to inclusion, and belonging.  Assistive Technology tools are keys to several of these pieces for many with disabilities; to be known, to be involved, to be heard, and to be needed.  With the right tools and support, inclusion is possible.   There is no “Special” world- everyone, no matter who they are, needs to know they belong in this world, in their community, and are valued.  This starts young, and Assistive Technology is one  tool that can make this happen successfully.  

A perfect example is my son, who has CP.  He is now a successful adult, and I believe that this is because I strove for inclusion at a young age.  In preschool, elementary and beyond, he was provided with the AT solutions he needed to communicate, to write, to read, to get around the school and playground independently, and to really show what he knows.  He learned to navigate the world as a person who uses a wheelchair and speaks differently. He is comfortable in the community, and he knows he has value, and belongs. This is the dream for everyone, isn’t it- to know they have value, and belong. It wasn’t always easy for him, or for me- but it was worth it, and Assistive Technology really helped allow him to be heard, to be involved, and be needed. 

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