ALLFIE’s Communications Officer introduces the summer edition of Inclusion Now.
Welcome to the summer edition of the magazine! I’m delighted to introduce my first issue as editor of Inclusion Now, the voice for inclusive education – packed with topical articles, current debates and online resources.
We are living in extraordinary times. We’ve seen the world gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting inequalities in society and causing more. Alongside the horrific killing of George Floyd, resulting in global mass protests, it shows how far we have to go to include everyone equally in society.
Michelle Daley opens with positive messages of inclusive community and intersectionality, reflecting on her visit to Brimsdown School (page 3). This serves a timely reminder that lifelong principles and practices of equality and inclusion must be learnt early in life, in our schools: “The introduction of Disabled pupils to the school and the influence of the diverse community has helped to improve support for inclusion for all children at the school, and helped promote the wider issues around inequalities within the community and the education system.”
In this issue we shine a spotlight on the discrimination faced by Disabled people (and those with intersectional identities) during the Coronavirus crisis, and the challenges for inclusive education which become yet more serious and complex.
“The impact on Disabled children has been dramatic”- Richard Rieser’s article (page 5) paints a stark picture. He warns that diminishing legal rights for vulnerable children and young people, under emergency Coronavirus legislation, risks making them even more vulnerable. ALLFIE and World of Inclusion’s joint report on health inequalities in the COVID-19 fallout “uncovers the tip of an iceberg of moral and ethical judgements based on medical model thinking and not on the human rights principles of equal treatment” (page 8)
Amidst the challenges it’s great to hear Adela Alberto share her inclusion journey and understanding her rights to support for her 9-year-old son (page 14). It is also heartening to see people across the country coming together to show each other compassion and support – in the weeks and months to come, solidarity is more important than ever.