InclusionX raises the disability spectrum
InclusionX works on disability inclusion, mental health services, adolescent reproductive health and inclusive computing and arts education. Afnan rahman written about the youth-led organization
“Are you autistic or what?” The waiver as such is aimed at people on the disability spectrum, whether intentional or not. The discrimination and humiliation that surrounds people with disabilities is so deeply embedded in our society that it is often used casually as slang. Social isolation and shame descends on them as they face challenges coping with communication and developing their skills. Fortunately, Labib Tazwar Rahman, a fourth year student at Stanford University, comes as a beam of light and hope to dispel this grim scenario. In an effort to gain acceptance, he launched InclusionX, an NGO focused on disability inclusion, mental health services and adolescent reproductive health awareness.
Labib’s experience as a witness to the social exclusion of people with disabilities is extremely dark and poignant. Growing up, he saw his older brother’s struggle with autism up close. His experience made Labib’s worldview all the more different from traditional life.
About his experience, Labib said: “My older brother had cerebral palsy. Growing up, I always felt that my world was quite different from others. For me, disabilities were part of normal life. However, the outside world, from parents to various institutions, projected an unpleasant and apathetic attitude towards disabilities and my brother. He could never get to a relative’s house as there were no ramps or elevators in those days. Every time we went out he had to stay at home or in the parking lot. On the other hand, any neighbor or relative visiting our house would cast a contemptuous glance at my brother. So, in a way, he silently endured a horrible life. I gloomily saw his bitter social exclusion.
Seeing his brother up close being rejected by society, he realized that the specter of disabilities lurked in the dark. His vision for the social inclusion of people with disabilities in all areas reached its peak with a specific incident. He clarified: “Unfortunately, my brother passed away in 2007. The first day I went back to school after he died, a friend came to me and said, ‘I feel bad that your brother is. dead, but wasn’t your brother a maniac? I was appalled at the way he asked this question. It hurt me to realize how insensitive our social system is to the specter of disability. That’s when I set out to showcase their incredible potential and bring them social acceptance. ‘
InclusionX began its journey in 2015 with the ‘InclusionX Connecting Circles’ campaign. The initiative focused on developing mutual understanding and a bond between people in general and people with disabilities through close interaction. To learn more about this initiative, Labib said, “I posted an article on Facebook asking if anyone was interested in spending a day at a school for people with disabilities. To my surprise, I received a large number of positive responses. Many young students have shown great interest in spending quality time with them. From this close interaction, the young people had the opportunity to understand them closely. Conversely, people with disabilities also perceived a sense of acceptance. This positive experience allowed us to continue the campaign. Over the next two or three months, we took many young people on tour to various schools for people with disabilities. ‘
The organization has expanded its disability inclusion initiatives. With InclusionX awareness, people with disabilities have been included alongside regular students in various festivals and school programs. “Like any other growing person, people with disabilities have the right to an equal opportunity to explore their talents. That is why; I thought it was important to include them in various school festivals and cultural programs. We contacted different schools offering them to partner with us as co-host and co-organizer of their event. In return, we asked for the participation of disabled people as well as regular students. From the Viqarunnisa Noon school to several other schools, we have included the participation of people with disabilities in an art competition and cultural programs. ‘
People with disabilities are like flowers. A dormant flower seed needs water to grow and flower. Likewise, people with autism need an intensive training platform to learn, grow and truly express them. InclusionX also initiated by launching the ‘Joy of Computing’ program, in partnership with the EMK Center. Its goal is to make training on 3D modeling and animation simple for people with disabilities. College / University students receive effective training. Therefore, they use their knowledge of training in teaching people with disabilities. For each student, an instructor is assigned to ensure a successful learning outcome. “Since January 2016, we regularly offer a computer training program twice a week. Currently, we have switched to virtual classes. It is nice to see how many people with disabilities enroll in our programs. We also have many volunteers as a support system in this program. I truly believe that people with the autism spectrum have a tremendous ability to do anything. All they need is love, care and care as ingredients to unveil their splendor, ”said Labib.
InclusionX takes great care to provide training in an efficient manner. More on this, Labib said, “If taught carefully, every person with a disability can learn anything. Each student needs a different teaching method. By interacting with students, our instructors identify their strengths and use the best appropriate technique for effective learning outcomes. Our teaching method includes video tutorial, signs or symbols, sketches, and form-based learning. ‘
In addition to disability inclusion, InclusionX is also taking important steps in the mental health sector. At a reasonable price, the organization connects people suffering from mental health problems with mental health professionals. In addition, they also provide counseling and support services to parents of a disabled child. In addition to this, the organization is also making a video series called “InclusionX Students Ask a Psychiatrist”. The series sparks discussion about mental health and helps people find the right support resources. More on the video series Labib explained, “With the onset of the pandemic, mental health issues like depression, anxiety and panic attacks have intensified due to the uncertainty of classes and courses. exams. The high suicide rates are also intimidating. So we have started a series of videos where we will openly address and discuss the questions posed by the students. By conducting a survey, we collect questions from students from various socio-economic backgrounds. Their questions are answered in each episode. We intend to address the mental health issues of these young people and appease them through open discussion. ‘
InclusionX has also broadened its area of initiatives by raising awareness about menstruation. It provides professional menstrual hygiene training and education. Labib added, “According to our survey of the School of People with Disabilities, the majority of parents are unaware and indifferent to the importance of menstrual hygiene. As a result, many adolescents suffer in silence which leads to more health problems. Therefore, we raise awareness and organize trainings on maintaining menstrual hygiene through professionals from various NGOs. ‘
The organization also exhibits the artistic flairs of these talents on their social media page. Video content of their wonderful songs and dances is uploaded on various occasions. In addition, their success stories are also presented to represent the enormous capacity of these people with disabilities.
Language is a crucial asset that is often misused in our society. As mentioned earlier, discrimination and misconceptions link autism and disability to such an extent that they are used as an abusive term. By the way, InclusionX focuses on linguistic sensitivity. Thanks to the “InclusionX Mind your Language” campaign, the concept of ableism and its negative effects are discussed. This campaign aims to use language adapted to people with disabilities to make the community feel welcome.
In a short time, InclusionX has made a significant contribution to social acceptance of the autism spectrum. The organization has participated in various national level campaigns related to budgeting and education. With the strategy of expanding connections across the country, he thrives to accomplish future endeavors.
Labib is optimistic about the evolution of the disability spectrum scenario in our country in the near future. He said: “The fact that so many young volunteers have signed up for all of the initiatives we have taken so far makes me incredibly optimistic. The government also organizes various disability awareness campaigns. Although we are still a long way from full acceptance, we are progressing at a good pace. ‘
Everything in this world is only a resource if it is used. Much like Labib Tazwar Rahman, we must pierce the webs of darkness to recognize potentials. He said: “We need to show empathy and kindness towards people with disabilities. With our immense love and encouragement, they can work wonders and reach great heights. InclusionX means it’s acceptance and inclusion that makes these stars shine.
Afnan Rahman is a student at North South University.