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Stories of belonging

In this video, different guest presenters with disabilities share experiences of inclusion and belonging.

In the video, we hear our guest presenters talk about their experiences of diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Antoni talks about his parents’ acceptance of him as being “no different” from anyone else, meaning that he entered mainstream school with a confidence in his abilities. Duncan also talks about finding the climbing community accepting of everyone’s different abilities. Similarly, Vivienne found this acceptance in the Jewish community where she lived. Antoni, Duncan and Vivienne all mention how these experiences were not only great for them, but were also important for the communities they belonged to — communities that valued their contribution and what they added to everyone’s experience.

Jordanna and Steve also talk about being members of communities and feeling a strong sense of belonging, but for them, this belonging was found in disability communities. Jordanna found pride and connection in her identification with the Deaf community. And Steve found a sense of liberation in his theatre group. Steve also emphasises how a sense of connection and belonging can be found in ways that others might not recognise — through moving the body, and feeling free to express yourself truthfully.

We provide a link to an audio description version of this video in the See Also section below.

portraits of the five guest speakers, laughing and smiling

Talking points

One of the ideas underpinning the stories of the guest presenters is the idea of difference. Interestingly, the presenters talk about being different in different ways. For Antoni, it was important that his parents emphasised he was “no different” from his brother, but for Duncan it was important that there was an understanding of “differing abilities.”
  • What do you think is the significance of this idea of difference in terms of understanding human diversity?
  • Do you think “belonging” is a useful concept?
  • Belonging is closely linked to the desire for human connection. Based on your own experience, do you think this desire is universal, or does it vary among diverse individuals?
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Disability and a Good Life: Working with Disability

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