Disability Inclusion 6: Some additional thoughts

There needs to be a shift in mindset. Groups shouldn’t take people with disabilities because they feel they have to or they see them as a ‘project’ to help the rest of the youth group learn something. Rather they should be seen as young people like anyone else who has the potential to contribute, learn and grow.
It will sometimes be challenging as it is with all young people, and some of the challenges will be different. But it is manageable. It will take more planning and preparation (and even some additional training or learning) but it’s worth it.
Leaders will sometimes get it wrong – but most parents are quite forgiving!
It needs a shift in the way you run the sessions. It isn’t just a case of saying ‘this is how we do it, like it or leave’ there will be adjustment needed.
There will be highs and lows like all youth work, and like all youth work the highs far outweigh the lows.
Remember: they are young people who will like music, football, art, winding up leaders. They just need some extra help sometimes.
You will probably have to work harder at communication.