Advocacy sharpens our capacity to critically view what is just and unjust within our communities, and what must be done to foster much-needed social change. It is the experience of many people with disabilities and their families that the ordinary and good things in life, that so many of us take for granted, don’t just happen for them.
The familiar experience of families, when trying to advocate for their loved ones, rests on the fact that our communities and society do not yet fully value individuals with disabilities, and inclusion is not typical or ordinary.
Our work is focused on supporting and enabling families to speak up for opportunities for people with disabilities to enjoy the same environments, lifestyle and living conditions that are readily available and afforded to individuals without disabilities.
Families can shape our society. Taking action improves the lives of people with disabilities by sustaining positive life experiences (inclusive education, living in one’s own home, etc.) creates a better community for all.
Advocacy by families often begins with a vision of what they want to see for their loved one’s future. This has the power to sustain activism efforts even amidst challenges. We believe that families are most likely to take up the role of advocacy for their family member and act in their interests and no one else’s.
In an article called The Natural Authority of Families by Michael Kendrick, he describes the strengths that give families authority when they are acting in interest of their family member.
PIN is a grass-roots initiative run by our families who are committed to building welcoming and inclusive communities in the Cayman Islands, and supporting each other to navigate an inclusive life.
For many parents, staying on an inclusive path can feel daunting and isolating. Stress may be compounded by trying to understand a school or recreation environment that may be struggling to include their child. Some parents say that they just don’t know what ‘inclusion’ of their child should look like. By joining PIN, you can be a pivotal voice in determining the action we all need to take to change the exclusion your children currently face, identifying barriers and working together to promote solutions that allow ALL individuals to access an inclusive life.
PIN happens on the first Saturday of every month at 10am. Childcare is provided for children while parents are participating in this initiative.
Families continually express the need for practical assistance in planning for, and obtaining, meaningful participation in community life for their family member with a disability.
Personal Futures Planning provides you with a skilled planner to work with small family groups to enable them to take the needed steps to create more promising and fulfilling lives for their family members. Personal Futures Planning provides you with a skilled planner to work with small family groups to enable them to take the needed steps to create more promising and fulfilling lives for their family members.
If you are interested in exploring how Personal Futures Planning can help your family member have a greater degree of belonging, community membership and inclusion; you are welcome to contact us to learn more.
Children and adults with disabilities are at heightened risk of loneliness, isolation and abuse, unless families have the understanding and means to facilitate and plan for inclusion into community life. The planner will work directly with families, and their networks, to develop an action plan for a promising and fulfilling life, being fully included in the community.
Congratulations on your new family member! Whether you are visiting our website with a new baby, child,
or adult family member in mind you will hear new ideas, be challenged with concepts and most importantly
start connecting with others who believe all individuals belong equally and bring value to our world.
Inclusion Cayman believes individuals with disabilities have a right to equitable access to the same areas of life and community that individuals without disabilities automatically have more access to. This includes inclusive education with a range of peers, inclusive recreation/arts/leisure, meaningful and paid employment opportunities, inclusive places of worship, and other community spaces.
Inclusion Cayman recommends that all future policy approaches in the Cayman Islands pursue full inclusion (a universal right), and move toward ending the segregation of persons with disabilities, as part of a progressive realization of the right to inclusive education in line with the UNCRPD (United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).
This means that policy makers must recognize the abundance of evidence that shows full inclusion produces better social and academic outcomes for individuals with disabilities and implement evidence-based programs.
Wherever that is, that is where they should be. They will benefit from being at home with mum, playing and learning in an ordinary preschool with kids who do not have disabilities, and experiencing life to the fullest, whilst fully included in their community.
From Special Education Preschools:
Help or Hindrance? Kathie Snow
Many Families have said that a key question to ask is: What sort of life do I want for my family member? Below is a clip that may help you think about the sort of life you want for them.
Comprised of members aged 16-22, the Youth Inclusion program empowers young people with and without disabilities in creating social change throughout their community. By attending workshops and events, this collective is striving to make the Cayman Islands a more inclusive place. These individuals are committed to the cause and share a passion for social change.