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The need for a more inclusive community.

In the last blog post, we touched on sanga or community. What does community mean to you? My husband likes to tease me and I say that I like to have tribes. He is 100% correct. I love meeting people and I love to serve. I have families everywhere- Rotary Camp Onsewaya , people I went to college with (Go Pirates!), people I have worked with along the way including traveling therapy, Yoga For The Special Child (R), friends I made in a year long coaching program, and most recently Leadership Manatee through the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. The more I travel, the more tribes I find. Recently, I found he Siblings Leadership Network! I think in part this maybe due to feelings of isolation as a child. I always had friends but most did not understand or even know that I had a brother.

During Leadership Manatee, we learned all about what makes a local community tick. It truly was a great program and there is room for improvement. During education day, special education was not talked about. Human needs day did not go into the needs that people with disabilities have when they are just not able to work. They forgot a whole population that lives in the community. With the current stats, one in four people have a disability of any kind. So to break that down into local numbers, this would mean that roughly 96,392 people have a disability. More specifically, the latest numbers for autism from the CDC is one in every fifty nine. In Manatee county alone, his would mean 6, 535 individuals are on the autism spectrum. And none of this was talked about. Are they not part of the community? These are future leaders not being educated. Maybe this trickled down from the federal level. The current administration did make fun of someone with a disability. I don’t care what your political beliefs are! This is not ok.

I will change how leaders are educated. Give me a minute. In the mean time, what can we do to be more inclusive in our local communities? Here are 3 tips that you can start implementing now while out in public.

  1. This should go without saying but don’t make fun of someone with a disability and teach your children not to either. Many individuals have normal intelligence despite outside appearance. We don’t like to be teased, many fun of, or bullied either.

  2. Please do not stare. If you have a question, ask. Use this as a teaching moment to your children. I am happy to stop and educate someone. Just say hello.

3. Judgements are an internal reflection of what is going on with you. Please do not assume or make judgements. If you get the pleasure of meeting my brother, he will fool you. He jumps up and down a lot while making an “eeee” sound. He cannot talk but that does not mean he can’t hear. He can also read.

So if you have any questions regarding how to make your business or our community more inclusive, please reach out. I am available or teaching and trainings. This is not a yoga or therapy business. It is a social project for inclusion.

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