Accessibility Isn’t Universal

 

I read a post from a friend today and something clicked – the missing pieces from my last post on how inclusion is inconvenient.  Rather than try to edit or add to that one, I decided to simply write another.

 

No perfect fit

No one place or class can be universally accessible.  This idea is something I’ve struggled with for a long time as a parent of children with Sensory Processing Disorder (or Sensory Integration Disorder, they’re used interchangeably.)  Obviously that’s what people strive for, and in some cases are legally bound to provide.  Clearly, people with all different needs deserve to have those needs met, right?  So why would I say that it’s impossible to meet all those needs – in the same space?

Because their needs conflict with each other.

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Inclusion is Inconvenient

 

Dear people, I have a message for you: inclusion is inconvenient.

 

In fact, inclusion can be frustrating, expensive, annoying, disagreeable, and come at great personal cost.  After all, it is hardly your fault that these individuals should be unable to participate like every one else, right? It even seems unfair, to expend effort on a few individuals at the expense of the rest of the group?  I can’t count the times I’ve heard “but it’s not fair to the other kids” when asking for accommodations.

Here’s the thing: inclusion means looking above your assumptions of fair and normal.  It means actively trying to smooth the way to make things go as easily for these individuals as it does for their average counterparts.  It means evaluating what you view as normal and seeing how it’s really not normal for everyone.

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Not the best juggler in the world

 

Apparently I suck at juggling because I’m always dropping the ball.  Here too.  Today, I realized it’s been way too long since I posted last, and I feel guilty about that.

At the same time, I’m tired.  I’m hurting.  And I’m struggling.  Something had to give, and this time, it was the blog.

 

Sometimes self-care means prioritizing the things that are the most critical and focusing on those just so that you can survive.  Our family has been in survival mode for far too long and frankly, I’m tired of it.

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