Learning Disability England has been talking and thinking about inclusion a lot recently. More than usual I realise.

We are busy getting ready for our annual conference in February and the theme is Including Everyone so we are talking to speakers about sharing what they are doing that supports inclusion.

Also we have been talking about labels and if they are ever a good thing – we will share more on that later with others connected to the Learning Disability and Autism Leaders list

This made me realise I hardly ever hear people talk about the values of inclusion nowadays. This is a big mistake I think and I am going to start talking about and sharing them a lot more.

Thinking about how to make these values real have changed things I have done. I have acted differently in my community, changed what I do as a trainer and how I have behaved at work especially decisions I made as a manager in services.

They are also my very predictable gift at any Tomorrows Leaders or Partners in Policymaking course I’ve ever been part of. I give these because I want to ask all of us to really get our heads round these truths

They challenge me and at the same time make it all very simple and easy – just live these.

Here they are as I was first introduced to them from the Scottish Human Services Team years ago

Values of Inclusion

Everyone is born in
We are born among people, and only sent away later

All means all
Everyone capable of breathing is entitled to be included. No one is too difficult, too old, too poor or too disabled to qualify

Everyone needs to be present
If we have never been present, no one will know when we’re missing

Everyone needs to belong
We need to know there’s a place for us, not just a space for us

Everyone is ready
None of us has to pass a test or meet a set of criteria before we can be included

Everyone can learn
As human beings we all grow and change and make mistakes: and we are all capable of learning

Everyone needs support
Sometimes some of us need more support than others

Everyone can communicate
Not using words doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to say

Everyone can contribute
We need to recognise, encourage and value each person’s contributions – including our own

Together we are better
We are not dreaming of a world where everyone is like us – difference is our most important renewable resource

 Taken from the Scottish Human Services website

Download these here:  Values of Inclusion

I also recommend you listen to the brilliant Heather Simmons talking about the values of inclusion – what they mean to her and her practice

What do these mean to you? Get in touch and let us know


Sam Clark