Carol Harrison B.Ed. is a storyteller, speaker, writer, teacher,and facilitator who loves to share from her heart one on one or with any size of group.

You can reach Carol via:
email: carol@carolscorer.ca
phone: 306 230 5808

twitter: @CarolHarrison6

Recent Posts

The Courage to Include


Have you ever waited at the sidelines, waiting for your name to be called to be part of the team? Were you one of the first chosen or the last? As a young girl I never tended to be called first for a sports team at school nor second or third. I often waited until the team captain had no choice but to add me to the team. I understood since I knew sports were not something I did very well. I could jump rope including double dutch with ease and enjoyed it. Playing jacks had its benefits since I often won. But ball, volleyball, broomball or any other team sports were a struggle for me to add much to anyone’s team. This did not mean I wished it were different – wished my name got called sooner. I wanted to be included. I wanted to belong. I think we all have this desire. No one likes to sit on the outside and look in.

What is true inclusion? Schools and classrooms might say they are inclusive but are they really? Does having someone with special needs sitting in the classroom mean they are included? Sometimes they are but often they are not. Yes they are in the classroom but not really part of the group.

I had a lawyer who also happened to be in a wheelchair explain it like this ( and give me permission to use it when I talk on this subject).
If I invite you to a party at my house and you show up at the door, I have a choice. I can invite you in or leave you outside. Since I invited you, I ask you to come in. I offer you a seat by the door and go back to attend to my other guests.

Since I invited you, I ask you to come in. I hang up your coat and usher you into the living room where everyone is assembled. I introduce you, offer you refreshments and make sure you have all that you need.

Two scenarios – which one is really including the person into your party?

We might shake our heads at this analogy. It is so obvious who is included totally and who is there but not brought further into the party than a seat at the door. But when we deal with life, in school, the workplace, organizations or even family, are we truly including those who have disabilities – who learn differently than we do? It is a question I remind myself of often.

I have worked hard to help teachers and other students understand the difference of my daughter simply being in the classroom and being part of the classroom. Sometimes they understood but not always. In those cases Amee had a hard year of feeling rejected, excluded and alone. But the other students missed out on getting to know someone who would be a loyal friend. Amee would often come home in those years and say, “Mom don’t they know I just want to be their friend?”

Togetherness – helping each other – including. Sometimes it takes courage to step out of your comfort zone and include others who are different than us. It might be a disability. It might be because they speak a different language and have customs we are unfamiliar with. It might be they are new in the community and we already have our circle of friends.

Are we willing to have the courage to include and what will it look like in our lives?

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