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10 Messages on Inclusion

These messages were developed over many months with input from experts, teachers and doctors. We developed a great poster for people to display in schools, medical facilities and anywhere children are.

If you’re unable to download the poster, please read on for the 10 messages.

All 10 Messages on Inclusion

  1. We all need the chance to feel included and be part of a group to feel accepted, just as we are.
  2. Some people are born with extra challenges that affect how they see, hear, move, speak, or think. Anyone can face physical or mental challenges at different times in their life, due to accidents or disease.
  3. For healthy, happy development, every child needs to feel they belong in all family, community, school, class, and club activities and be part of a group of friends.
  4. Children who have difficulties with one thing often have abilities in others. Let’s think about our own difficulties and strengths.
  5. Here’s how you can help me: 1. Get to know me. 2. Ask if and how I need help! (I might not.) 3. Listen to me. 4. Ask what else might help.
  6. We all feel unhappy when we are excluded. If you know someone who is struggling, pay attention, and see if you can help.
  7. If you see someone bullying, hurting, name-calling, laughing at or neglecting someone then do something to help or report it to someone you trust.
  8. With an adult, check that everyone can get in and out of places in school and in the community, especially, classrooms, toilets, play areas, and handwashing stations.
  9. So I have challenges! Don’t you? See what I can do, not what I cannot. Play with me, learn with me. Let’s be friends.
  10. If I don’t know how to include someone, I will ask them, their family or others in the community to help me.

More Information on
Inclusion for Educators

In most countries there is specialist support for children who have disabilities like with eyesight, hearing, or movement. These are often called Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) services. Children can help identify children and families who might not know about CBR or who are isolated.

More than any other difficulty, the hardest one is when children are excluded, do not go to school and feel that others (children and adults) do not care about them. Children can be hurtful and bully children they see as different. With sensitive teaching, awareness raising and good parenting, children with special challenges can thrive. Other children will play an important part in making them feel supported and included. There are so many wonderful role models. In an inclusive classroom all children learn and gain a lot from understanding and being friends with people who are managing extra challenges. Read our storybook, A Mazing Treasures for more about the inclusive classroom.

Some people hold false beliefs about the causes of disability. Mothers especially can blame themselves or be blamed by others. These attitudes must be challenged, and children need to  understand that these beliefs are mistaken. Sometimes harmful, local ‘cures’ are tried which can make a disability worse.

There are many ways to ensure children are included. Let’s remember this key message…

Here’s how you can help me 1. Get to know me.
2. Ask if and how I need help! (I might not)
3. Listen to me. 4. Ask what else might help.

With the children, make lists of ideas, create a poster, and display it in your classroom wall to remind all children of the part
they play to support each other every day.

This poster was developed with the generous support of the Brian Murtagh Foundation.

A girl in a wheelchair is being pushed up a ramp by a boy. A woman waits at the top for them.

General ideas to support children facing extra challenges

  1. Make sure the children who need it are supported by a local CBR service.
  2. Notice and ask when a child seems isolated, quiet or sad.
  3. Help a child catch up with lessons after an illness and absence.
  4. Prepare activities and lessons carefully, making adaptations so all children can participate.
  5. Some children may have more than one challenge to deal with e.g. speaking and moving.
  6. Be ambitious for children with extra challenges now and for their future.

Ideas to support those with vision challenges

  1. Keep the home and school environment the same and predictable and explain when there are changes.
  2. Do you best to enable children to understand what is on a blackboard, a screen and a notebook.
  3. Paint clear and rich mental pictures with words when explaining or reading aloud.

Ideas to support those with hearing challenges

  1. Learn some sign language.
  2. Speak clearly and slowly.
  3. Respond patiently and in a friendly way if a child asks for a direction or explanation to be repeated.

Ideas to support those with movement challenges

  1. Make sure there is easy access to all areas of the home and school.
  2. Move around inside calmly and steadily.
  3. Play stimulating activities and games that all children can join in.

Ideas to support those with learning difficulties

  1. Involve all those important to the child to help them set goals and milestones together.
  2. Adapt activities so that the pace is right.
  3. Give extra time and extra support.

A Basket of Ideas

  • MAKE our own messages about inclusion in our own language and using our own words!
  • MEMORISE the messages so we never forget them!
  • SHARE the messages with others.
  • SHARE STORIES of the times when we have felt included and excluded and how this made us feel.
  • TAKE a game you know and change it or play it in a new way so everyone can play it.