Community Inclusion for People with Disabilities

People with disabilities are supposed to be the incorporated in the implementation of community based rehabilitation program through inclusion. In addition to this, people with disabilities are being involved in mainstream development programs if the programs have goals that will implicate positively on their lives, for instance programs allied with poverty reduction and education (Llewellyn 2010). Consequently, decision and programs are not decided for people with disabilities, rather they take part and influence on the decision making procedure with regard to the most effective programs. Moreover, people with disabilities are able to access resources through being connected to the community networks. People with disabilities engage in group organization at the community level. The organizations are able to partner with the government to enhance accessibility to beneficial programs and resources. There are varied community based programs which comprise of varied activities and services. The organizations support people with disabilities along with their families so as to come up with a plan tailored for an individual. Through active interaction in the group, people with disabilities are able to create lifelong opportunities to enhance their wellbeing and quality of life. Inclusion ensures the participation of people with disabilities.

Theories and Ideologies

            With regard to the social model of disability, disability is caused by impediments to participation in community life rather that the impairment of the individual. Therefore, in order to promote the wellbeing of people with disability, strategies geared towards changing the community and promoting social change have to be incorporated so as to improve opportunities for people with disabilities. Through being incorporated in the activities of the community, people with disabilities are supposed to be supported to enable participation. In addition to this, they are supposed to be supported to ensure realization if independence, social connection and enhancement of their wellbeing. They are also supposed to be integrated into community building activities like community development, empowerment and participation. Furthermore, facilitation of self-directed planning has to be done with people with disabilities. Planning is supposed to be based on the goals, choices, aspirations, interests and strengths of an individual (Victorian Government Department of Human Services 2010).

            Even though government has been able to integrate equality rights in their bill of rights, substantive citizenship rights have not been accomplished especially in services and programs. As a consequence, most people living with disabilities have not been able to acquire full citizenship since they have not been able to access some of the services and programs. Consequently, inclusion into the programs and services is a way of ensuring full citizenship for people with disabilities (Ponthier & Devlin 2011). On the other hand, as a result of the progress realized pertaining to issues affecting people with disabilities, people with disabilities are viewed based on the social theory as opposed to the application of the rehabilitation model.  Accordingly, from the perspective of the social theory, people with disabilities have budged from being treated as clients by social workers to being considered as colleagues. Thus, people with disabilities are supposed to freely participate in programs with the collaboration of the social worker. Consequently, the community is supposed to explore issues affecting people with disabilities and come up with effective strategies. The strategies are supposed to be implemented to facilitate the participation of people with disabilities (Dunn et al. 2008).

            The inclusion model ascribes the notion of social justice. Thus, people with disabilities are able to access their social rights and participate in social activities just like their counterparts without disabilities. Moreover, inclusion into community activities is also based on normalization. For instance, if students are educated in mainstream schools available in the community as opposed to special schools, they become a part of the local community. In addition to this, they will engage in activities with peers in the community, who will implicate on their behavior, cognitive skills and problem-solving techniques. However, if the student is taken to school away from the community, they are less likely to benefit from such normal interactions. In addition to this, inclusion helps in the development of the right attitudes towards people with disabilities. This is because, for people to change their attitudes towards people with disabilities, they require to be bequeathed with the right information as well as learn from experience (Konza 2008).

Strategies and Implementation

            Students with disabilities have been included in community education programs. Inclusion in this sector has been done to do away with the divergence between special and regular education. In addition to this, including the students in the community education program is vital since it ensures accessibility to education by all children. In order to include students in the community based educational programs, the education systems have been restructured so as to enable schools and resources that are geared towards providing facilities, effective curriculum and resources to students regardless of their disability (Konza 2008). On the other hand, in Indian and other developing countries, people suffering from schizophrenia and related disabilities are allowed to participate in activities of the community. They are able to carry out their responsibilities under the care of their family members who help them access medical care. This has proved to be effective since it leads to an elevation on the quality of life of people with schizophrenia. Thus, their social life is enhanced since the patients are not secluded or excluded due to their condition (Buckingham 2010). The same results have not been realized in Western countries where people suffering from schizophrenia are relieved off their duties. They are confined in clinics for the purposes of treatment and management of the conditions.

            Community access for people with disabilities is supposed to ensure quality of life, participation, advocacy, communications and relationships, power and control, knowledge and information and physical access. The community is supposed to provide feature in line with the disability of the individual. For instance, the community is supposed to have features for cognitive disabilities, intellectual, vision and hearing among other disabilities. With this, people with disabilities can develop in community activities without any impediment (Stock et al. 2011). In the community inclusion model, focus has to be put on how people with disabilities react with their environment. This is through focusing on how people with disabilities engage in sporting activities, learn, work and live among other components of their lives.

             There has been an escalation in the attention to the rights of people with disabilities which has led to focus on the quality of life, participation and self-determination. In the same context, volunteers, healthcare service providers, peers, teachers and family member have a role to play to ensure inclusion (Soresi et al. 2011). With regard to inclusion, people with disabilities are also supposed to be incorporated in economic activities. This is through being able to access employment opportunities so as to have an opportunity of enhancing their lives. Consequently, people with disabilities are supposed to access opportunities available at the community level so that they can contribute to community building and development. The workplaces are supposed to be modified in a manner that suits the disability of a person. Accordingly, this will contribute to autonomy and raise the quality of life. Being incorporated into the workforce will contribute to social inclusion. Additionally, it will contribute to fulfillment, reciprocity and a sense of belonging (Lysaght et al. 2012).

Area of Work

            Health education is one area which can concern people with disabilities. Through health education, people with disabilities can be empowered to make the right decision and ascribe to healthy lifestyle with the goal of preventing diseases and illnesses. With health education, people with disabilities can be guided on what to do to access preventing services.

Practice Approach

            Health education is geared towards creating awareness with regard to heath issues. Thus, people are empowered to make the right decisions with regard to their health and wellbeing. With respect to Victorian Government Department of Human Services (2010), people with disabilities have the right to social and community services. They have the right to participate in matters concerning the community. Therefore, while launching the health education programs, people with disabilities have to be considered as individual who are able to make decisions and the health education program to empower them in the decision making process. In addition to this, Soresi et al. (2011) explicates that people with disabilities have to be aided to participate in the community activities effectively, through helping them deal with their disabilities. Therefore, when working in the community, establishment of the conditions suffered from by people with disabilities has to be done. Strategies have to be employed to aid people with disabilities deal with their disabilities in a manner that does not impede their participation. For instance, for those with hearing impairment, hearing aids can be given on the other hand; sign language can be used so as to pass information. Thus, the disability suffered form by a person is not used to be considered as an obstacle to participating in community activities.

            Schools are becoming inclusive through accommodating children with disabilities as explained by Konza (2008). While working in the community, schools can be used as a basis of administering health education programs so that even children with disabilities benefit. Student and teachers are supposed to be guided on how they can handle students with disabilities to make certain that they achieve the best from the education programs. Moreover, the law and policies have to be effective enough to protect people with disabilities and promote their participation in community activities. Thus, as a community health educator, the policies pertaining to the inclusion of people with disabilities have to be reviewed. If they are not effective enough, then the policy making process has to be implicated on to create an environment where people with disabilities are inclusive. On the other hand, family, peers and the community have an implication on self-determination, participation and quality of life of people with disabilities (Soresi et al. 2011). In order for them to gain from the health education programs, the families and peers have to be empowered and guided so as to create an avenue for participation in community programs by people with disabilities. Moreover, people with disabilities can realize satisfaction if they participate in the workforce at the community level (Lysaght et al. 2012). Therefore, in order to implement what is taught in the health education programs, employers in the community has to be influenced towards employing people with disabilities. With an income, they can purchase the right foods and access healthcare services.

Barriers and Difficulties

            Inclusion into the community programs for people with disabilities can be impeded by policies. Some of the policies are neoliberal hence have configured the content pertaining to citizenship. For instance, in India, disability has been considered to be medical-warfare model. On the other hand, some of the cultural and religious beliefs with regard to disability are not in line with the praxis based on rights (Hiranandani et al. 2014). In addition to this, the conceptualization of inclusion has not been fully comprehended and outlined. Therefore, there is need to outline practices that contribute to social inclusion. Moreover, there is need to establish system level mechanisms which are geared towards the accomplishment of the goals pertaining to inclusion (Bigby 2012). Furthermore, the attitudes of people in the community can impede inclusion. Some of the people do not have the right attitudes hence to not create avenues for inclusion of people with disabilities.

            In order to carry out activities of inclusion, financial support is required so as to create enabling features for people with disabilities. Accessibility to finances might be difficult hence the goals of the education programs may not be achieved (Robertson et al. 2012). For instance, people with visual impairment may require specialized tools to aid them in reading. If funds are not enough, then accessibility to such equipment is cut. Some of the children are able to participate in activities like their peers as a result of disability (Shields et al. 2012). Moreover, some people with disabilities are not able to move from one place to another to access healthcare services (Davies et al. 2010).

Dealing with Barriers and Difficulties

            To deal with the barrier, the community members have to be influenced towards the right direction so as to create avenue for inclusion. Even though the community has to be educated with regard to respecting and enabling the rights of people with disabilities, avenues for experience have to be created. For instance, when holding the health education programs, both people with disabilities and those without have to be included. This is to prove to people without disabilities that people with disabilities have the potential and capability of performing tasks. They have a mind of their own hence can be worked with since they are reliable. With this in place, poor attitudes and misleading cultural and religious beliefs about disability can be rooted out. On the other hand, finances can impede the achievement of goals with regard to inclusion. This can be dealt with through partnership with the government and non-governmental organizations. Moreover, employers can be influenced so that they can create employment opportunities for people with disabilities (Lysaght et al. 2012). Consequently, they will be enabled to purchase equipment for their own use. With regard to dealing with issues affecting children with disabilities, the children are supposed to be initiated in the education system. This is a step towards social justice (Polat 2011).


Bigby, C 2012, “Social Inclusion and People with Intellectual Disability and Challenging Behaviour: A Systematic Review,” Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, vol.37, no.4, pp .360-74.

Buckingham, J 2010, “Writing Histories of Disability in India: Strategies of Inclusion,” Disability & Society, vol.26, no. 4, pp.419-31.

Davies, D Stock, S Holloway, S & Wehmeyer, M 2010, “Evaluating a GPS-Based Transportation Device to Support Independent Bus Travel by People With Intellectual Disability,” American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, vol.48, no. 6, pp .454-63.

Dunn, P Hanes, R Leslie, D & MacDonald, J 2008, “Best Practices in Promoting Disability Inclusion Within Canadian Schools of Social Work,” Disability Studies Quarterly, vol.28, no. 1, pp .346-56.

Hiranandani, V Kumar, A & Sonpal, D 2014, “Making Community Inclusion Work for Persons With Disabilities: Drawing Lessons From The Field,” community Development, vol.45, no. 2, pp .150-164.

Konza, D 2008, Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in New Times: Responding to the Challenge. In P. Kell, W. Vialle, D. Konza, &  G.Vogl,  Learning and the Learner: Exploring Learning for the New Times, pp. 39-64  University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW.

Llewellyn, G 2010, Parents With Intellectual Disabilities: Past, Present and Futures, Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester, West Sussex , Malden, MA.

Lysaght, R Cobigo, V & Hamilton, K 2012, “Inclusion as a Focus of Employment-Related Research in Intellectual Disability from 2000 To 2010: A Scoping Review,” Disability and Rehabilitation, vol.34, no. 16, pp .1339-50.

Polat, F 2011, “Inclusion in Education: A Step Towards Social Justice,” International Journal of Education Development, vol.31, no. 1, pp .50-58.

Ponthier, D & Devlin, R 2011, Critical Disability Theory: Essays in Philosophy, Politics, Policy, and Law. UBC Press, Vancouver, BC.

Robertson, J Emerson, E Hatton, C & Yasamy, M 2012, ” Efficacy of Community-Based Rehabilitation for Children with or at Significant Risk of Intellectual Disabilities in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Review,” Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, vol.25, no. 2, pp .143-54.

Shields, N Synnot, J & Barr, M 2012, “Perceived Barriers and Facilitators to Physical Activity for Children with Disability: A Systematic Review,” British Journal of Sports Medicine, vol.46, pp .989-97.

Soresi, S Nota, L & Wehmeyer, M 2011, “Community Involvement In Promoting Inclusion, Participation And Self‐Determination, International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.15, no.1, pp.15-28.

Stock, S Davies, D Wehmeyer, M & Lachapelle, Y 2011, “Emerging New Practices in Technology to Support Independent Community Access for people with Intellectual and Cognitive Disabilities,” NeuroRehabilitation, vol.28, no.3, pp.261-9.

Victorian Government Department of Human Services 2010  Disability Services, Community Building,Program Practice Guid. Victorian Government Department of Human Services: Melbourne.

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