Workshops case studies

Lindsey and Maresa represented One For All on 7th February 2008 in Derby at a Parent Partnership conference ‘Everyone Matters’

Lindsey started by introducing herself, Lucy (who was there in spirit although not able to be there in person), and Maresa as the One For All team. Lindsey described the Graphic showing the different aspects needed for full inclusion.

Maresa then gave a short talk on the importance of ‘Time and Communication’ in giving meaning to learning and how relationships are an aid to learning rather than a distraction. Maresa also included Lucy’s view on what access means to her and how her relationships with friends enabled that access to happen.

Lindsey then gave her perspective on the importance of giving time for relationships to develop and spoke about her dissertation, which focussed on friendships with young people who need assistance to communicate. Lindsey gave an example of how one young person’s different way of showing his excitement and gratitude was not seen as acceptable and how sad that was.

The group then divided into smaller groups for the ‘Barrier Wall’ exercise to:
1). Identify barriers in including young people in school.

2). Make suggestions of ways to overcome those barriers.

The presentation ended with questions and one of the group reading Maresa’s poem ‘Childhood’.

Department for Children, Families and Schools (DCFS)

This workshop was a welcomed challenge for One For All and one we have been eager to undertake for a while. It was the first time that we delivered our training to such an influential audience – this is the government body that is responsible for developing the policies which shape education – so along with many original ideas and activities, we added some new aspects to our training, such as the added insight gained from Lucy, now working in the teaching profession. Our ethos was strengthened further by joining forces with HEYA, a youth led collective, who empower young people to actively promote a more inclusive society, in all aspects of daily life. Maresa has worked with HEYA in the past and yet again the combination of representatives from both groups proved successful and added a new dimension to our training. HEYA opened the workshop with a compelling presentation on a very global view of inclusion and human rights, including some startling statistics and illuminating interviews between members. One For All then followed with a more specific view of education in the UK, according to our own personal experiences from primary to higher education and beyond. We challenged our participants to think about different views of disability according to social and medical model thinking and we got them working as a team in order to debate and overcome some of the current challenges to inclusive education. We believe making connections with the DCFS is vital if we are to put our inclusive ideals into action. They were keen to hear the voice of young people, so we are all looking forward to many future opportunities to work together.

A DCFS member told us,

‘I really enjoyed the workshop and thought it was very professional.’

International Inclusion Summer Institute

On Wednesday 6th June 2007 One For All were invited to give a presentation outlining our ideals and the work we have undertaken to demonstrate these, as part of a three day inclusion conference held at the Gateway Hotel in Nottingham. This was not an inclusion training event for new clients, instead it was a chance to exchange ideas and good practice with fellow inclusion advocates who also share our goals. We were a little nervous about this event, as it was the first time in over a year that One For All had done any inclusion work (due to our busy schedules) and it was the first time in two years that the entire One For All team were able to work together! However, we soon realised there was no need to worry, as we were met with a very positive and supportive audience. During the conference, Maresa also delivered a successful workshop with Lucia Bellini and Blake Williamson, based on additional support needs for students in higher education. This generated much lively debate, but the resounding common factor that everyone felt was necessary for full inclusion was the need for good information and good allies – and that is exactly what this conference provided One For All with. We were very pleased to reunite with the familiar faces that helped to launch our organisation, while also making new acquaintances with allies from around the world, whose examples of inspiring work we hope to learn from. The entire three days were packed with so many diverse experiences that left every participant feeling positive about the future and direction of inclusion – it is happening globally and we need events like this to reinforce our ideas, empower those working towards equality and celebrate what is actually being achieved in this field!

Derek from Inclusive Solutions said that,

‘We should never stop preaching to the converted!’

One of the conference participants from the U.S.A. summed up the positive response our group had when she asked us,

‘Do you know how radical you are?!’