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?!’