A Policy of Inclusion

Collage Kereisah 2018-07

We are all connected to each other. What holds the body together is the functioning together of individual parts. We are all a part of something bigger than ourselves. Each of us has a special gift which is meant for the common good. Each one of us a different skill and a different ability. But each one of equal value. Think about it, could our body truly thrive without one of these? YES! But, the rest of the body would have to overcompensate. This process like any other ideas process is not a “one size fits all” type process. It has pushed me to find ways to increase opportunities for participation in the community. There should be no barriers preventing people with disabilities from participating in all areas in the community. This is why Semiahmoo House Society developed the Educational Equivalent Assessment (EEA) which I recently graduated.

Through this process I have had the opportunity to learn and understand the policy and procedure of Semiahmoo house and the rights of all people I support. In a major way I have learned to look at each person in a different way and also how to assist them in gaining control over their own life. Recognizing the importance of respecting the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of each persons right to privacy and confidentiality. The EEA highlighted the concept of nothing for us without us. And that support and involvement should be provided in such a way as to ensure that the person is still making the decision. The importance of recognizing a person’s capacity for understanding information. Which means a person can understand a decision, the choices involved, the consequences to themselves and others and can communicate their choice. Our self-perception often directs many choices and relationships without us even being aware. When we sometimes look at others, we can see their qualities often through their words and actions without hearing the labels that they give themselves. How do we decide what is ethical? Ethics is at the core of our everyday life. But the biggest impact was it helped me to grow within myself and be confident. It allowed me to recognize the amazing things that can happen with authenticity and relationships. We are social creatures. Relationships whether family or friends are at the very heart of learning and development. Support and involvement should be provided in such a way as to ensure that the person with a disability is still making the decision. Recognize a person’s capacity for understanding information. It means a person can understand a decision, the choices involved, the consequences to themselves and others and can communicate their choice.

Thank, Nolda, for mentoring me through this process and for sharing your vast level of knowledge, being able to tap into that and work with you throughout this year has been incredible.

By Kereisha Gordon, Semiahmoo House Society

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