The drive for Inclusivity – Part 1
What does mean to be Inclusive
All people, regardless of gender, education, religion, ethnicity, and social class, have experienced being included and excluded.
In micro terms, we experience inclusion or the feeling of being part of something bigger than us within our own family, clique, or group. We also experience exclusion when we are around strangers, or when we visit another country where people speak a different language or have a culture different from our own.
Experiences of social inclusion and exclusion
People with disabilities or the differently-abled experience exclusion more than the rest of us because they are perceived as inferior to those who are non-disabled. These include physically handicapped people who need wheelchairs, crutches, canes, and other mobility aids.
Some are sight- or hearing-impaired, or have neurological or psychological conditions that make them different from 'normal' people. Based on these perceived handicaps, differently-abled people sometimes experience discrimination in various aspects of their lives.
The 'us versus them' thinking delineates who is included and excluded socially. For this reason, social minorities have had to deal with similar experiences where their life chances or opportunities, are limited by the label society gives them.
Historically, women, ethnic minorities, homosexuals, physically disabled people, and those with neurological disorders have experienced exclusion to a greater degree.
Of course, history has also taught us that exclusivity divides and destroys — it is not sustainable.
Conversely, inclusivity unites, drives long-term growth, and sows respect, peace, and mutual concern among people. Today, we seek to be inclusive in all aspects of our lives: education, social relations, and business, including product design.
In a broad sense, inclusivity entails the inclusion of people or individuals 'who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized".
Inclusivity is a state of mind or a mindset that embraces diversity. This is why only inclusive policies and programmes can help us achieve our goals of attaining equity, respect, and dignity for all, together.
At ALMA we strive to be inclusive in all aspects of life, including the homeware products we create. Understand how we work with Inclusivity reading Part 2 of this article.