Answered Questions is a monthly resource for the Spanish language Disability Community that fills an information need. This month’s question is: What is inclusion and how does it benefit people with and without disabilities? Are there unmet inclusion needs? This edition of Answered Questions includes organizations, projects, and other resources that define the inclusion of people with disabilities in many areas of life; research community living and participation for people with physical, intellectual, developmental, and psychiatric disabilities; discuss barriers to inclusion, including access to transportation and technology, and laws and policies in the US and internationally that remove these barriers to support social, educational, and workplace inclusion. More about Answered Questions.
What does the inclusion of people with disabilities mean?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the inclusion of people with disabilities is defined as guaranteeing that everyone has the same opportunities to participate in all aspects of life to the fullest extent of their abilities and desires. Inclusion allows people with disabilities to take advantage of the same activities as people without disabilities, including participating in social activities; use public resources, such as transportation and libraries; receive adequate medical attention; have relationships; and participate in other activities of daily living. Full inclusion in the community includes improving access to spaces, technology, services, and transportation, and getting rid of physical, attitudinal, policy, and programmatic barriers that impair participation. There are several federal laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities in the US and guarantee their inclusion in many aspects of the community. These laws include Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010; the Help America Vote Act of 2012; and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1975. There are also strategies available to assist in the inclusion of people with disabilities in the community. These strategies include accessibility and universal design in technology, education, and architecture, reasonable accommodations, and the use and development of assistive technology.
The Research and Training Center on Community Living for People with Intellectual Disabilities (RTC/CL) (In English) (90RT5019) conducts research, training/technical assistance, and dissemination activities that focus on community living and participation of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Research studies include intervention studies related to participation through self-determination, social inclusion, employment and the direct support workforce in a variety of community living service settings. The RTC/CL provides a comprehensive training program for disability researchers and professionals and outreach programs that provide training and technical assistance to agencies and individuals across the US.
Enhancing the Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (In English) (90DP0066) includes several studies that target the development of a new measure of community living and participation for people with psychiatric disabilities and the development of an innovative peer-led intervention that promotes community living and participation in this population. These activities are informed by a comprehensive exploratory study that examines the barriers and facilitators to the community engagement of people with psychiatric disabilities.
From the NARIC Collection:
Getting to inclusion: People with developmental disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act participatory action research consortium (English) (J73567) is an article that discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Participatory Action Research Consortium (ADA-PARC) (English). The ADA-PARC collaborates with the NIDILRR-funded ADA Regional Centers to fulfill the mission of the ADA: full inclusion, participation, and equality of opportunity for all people with disabilities. The ADA-PARC focuses on three participation areas: community living, community participation, and work and economy. The article also discusses how the ADA-PARC helps the ADA Regional Centers and community stakeholders target disparities and increase the full participation of people with disabilities in their communities.
Measuring the transportation needs of people with developmental disabilities: A means to social inclusion (English) (J75890) describes a study that identified the transportation needs and the reasons for unmet, but desired, untaken trips of people with developmental disabilities. Researchers utilized a survey that measured the existing travel behavior and unmet transportation needs of 114 people with developmental disabilities in Minnesota. Participants were asked to complete the survey and to record actual and desired but untaken trips in a travel diary. Researchers found that most participants did not live independently, more than half worked every day, and recreation trips occurred at least once a week for about two-thirds of the participants. They also found that about 46% were unable to make the trips they needed to make. Researchers found that public transit posed physical and intellectual difficult; however, the presence of public transit decreased the odds of participants not making trips. Participants did report concerns about paratransit services.
Inclusion and access to technology, the right of people with disabilities (México), an article from General Direction of Social Communication, discusses how there are barriers and digital obstacles to technology for people with disabilities. According to Esther Labrada Martinez, manager at the TIC for Inclusion and the Classroom project and the Innovation for People with Disabilities Lab, the inclusion of people with disabilities and their access to technology should be a right. The article also discusses the keyboard, IntelliKeys, and the hands-free mouse, SmartNav, and how they help people with disabilities access the technology they need.
A roundtable on technology for inclusion (Argentina) discusses the second annual roundtable, hosted by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Productive Innovation of Argentina. The roundtable included members from the Ministries of Labor, Communication, Production, and Education, along with the National Agency on the Promotion of Science and Technology and organizations from the private sector. The roundtable is looking for ways to promote and facilitate the inclusion of people with disabilities in Argentina through the use of applied technologies.
The Educational Inclusion of People with Disabilities (Colombia), an article by Andrea Padilla Muñoz, discusses a study on the preparedness of education professionals in providing an adequate education for people with disabilities. The study was a survey of education professionals in three public schools in Bogotá. The results describe the heterogeneity of disability and the difficulty of including people with disabilities in a homogeneous way. According to the authors of the study, few education professionals in Colombia are prepared to work with students with disabilities. Although national and international legislation show an evolution in the terminology of disability and show support to people with disability, there still exists a vacuum in the educational inclusion of people with disabilities.
Inclusive Education as a Model for the Education of All (Inclusion International – article in Spanish and website in English) discusses how the models of inclusive education have better political and economic sustainability than the duality of a regular system of education and a parallel system of special education. In the article, the authors compare the traditional and inclusive approaches, identify strategies for inclusive education, discuss the challenges of collecting data, and define the disability community, planning, the focus on human rights, and awareness and commitment. The article ends with a discussion on how inclusive education is a model for students with disabilities that proposes structural changes in education.
Disability and Employment: The inclusion of people with disabilities in employment (National Foundation of People with Disabilities – Chile) discusses how including people with disabilities in employment brings them the possibility of improving their lives. The inclusion of employees with disabilities in the workforce positively impacts businesses by allowing companies to reach new clients and markets.
The Inclusion of People with Disabilities, an article in The Panama Star, discusses how Panamanians with disabilities are a large, but vulnerable, group whose inclusion in the employment sector can help diminish poverty, help business productivity, and diminish levels of inequality. The article continues with an analysis of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities, including the emphasis on the corporate social responsibility of the company, improving the quality of life for people with and without disabilities, improving the work environment, and encouraging tolerance.
Workshops on Inclusion:
The Inclusion of People with Disabilities is Achieved Through an Interactive Social Dialogue (Ecuador) describe how the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES – initials in Spanish) through the Sub-Secretary of Disabilities is hosting interactive workshops with the disability community at a local, district, and national level. During these workshops, people with disabilities throughout Ecuador are able to meet with MIES staff and learn about their rights, the promotion of active participation for all, and the promotion of equality and inclusion within the same society. The staff of MIES consider these interactive workshops as important because they help determine the needs of different areas in the country and they provide the opportunity to reinforce positive inclusion of people with disabilities, their families, and the community.
The guide The Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities (Library of the National Congress of Chile) discusses the measures for the social inclusion of people with disabilities contemplated by Chile’s law number 20.422 in relation to buildings, employment, education, and other areas. The guide also discusses the obligations of the government, who certifies that a person has a disability, and what inclusion measures are established by the law. The guide also describes the National Disability Service.
- Fundación Prevent (Spain) works towards the full inclusion of people with disabilities, principally socially and in the employment sector; and to promote a culture that prevents barriers within business, with a social awareness that guarantees the work of more responsible companies. The foundation includes services for people with disabilities, services for employers, collaborates with organizations to reduce barriers in employment, promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities, and promotes adaptive sports as an indispensable tool to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities.
- The National Arts & Disability Center (NADC) (English) promotes the full inclusion of audiences and artists with disabilities into all facets of the arts community and provides information, technical assistance, and evaluation services. The NADC also provides a statewide forum on careers in the arts, resources, a library, and ways to get involved.
- National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials:
- International Research:
About Answered Questions
Each month, we look through the searches on our blog and through the information requests made by our patrons who speak Spanish and pick a topic that fills the largest need. Each resource mentioned below is associated with this month’s information need. We search the various Spanish language news sources and feeds throughout the month to bring you these articles. With the exception of the NIDILRR Projects and Further Investigation, all the linked articles and resources are in Spanish – any that are in English will be clearly marked.