“You have a responsibility to make inclusion a daily thought, so we can get rid of the word ‘inclusion'” – Theodore Melfi
Inclusion by definition is the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. Throughout our daily lives we encounter people who are different from us in a variety of ways; gender, race, age, language, mobility, health, etc. While inclusion often triggers the thought of thinking of our individual differences in physical terms, it is also important to be mindful of including non-visible differences between one another such as religion, ideas, beliefs and culture.
At BRAINS, we are fortunate and proud to have an extensive range of clients and populations. We celebrate neuro-diversity and learning differences. Therefore, we take the responsibility and pleasure of making BRAINS an inclusive place for everyone. An example; our restrooms are for EVERYONE. They are accessible for anyone regardless of gender or mobility. They are spacious to allow room for families, and include changing stations so that anyone, male or female, has the resources needed to be able to take care of their infant. Our hallways are large facility wide, allowing for individuals using a wheelchair, crutches, (or clumsy clinicians who have to wear walking boots) the space to move around freely.
This month, our dedication to inclusion has extended further with the development of a Diversity and Inclusion Committee. This committee is made up of team members at BRAINS who are committed to making the culture of BRAINS and the facility as inclusive as possible. This will include reviewing forms and testing protocols, expanding our documentation to offer it in various languages and so much more!
Interested in expanding your inclusiveness? Try talking to someone new, visit a cultural festival or event that differs from your own culture, attentively listen to others’ ideas and thoughts, or even try a new food! These are all small ways to increase your knowledge of others around you. Who knows, you may learn something new!
We are so pleased to have the opportunity to work with a variety of individuals and families. These people make our jobs wonderful. The greatest experience we have in life is to learn from those around us!
Written by Chelsea Wiersema, LMSW
BRAINS Clinical Therapist and Group Coordinator