A world where no one is ostracised can only happen if our words are put into action. Advocating for inclusivity should be integrated into our everyday actions. Living out inclusivity, regardless of the place or situation, begins with ourselves. How can we do that? Read on about ways to be more inclusive in our daily life!
Be informed. You do not always have to know everything, but if you seem to be encountering something unfamiliar, read and educate yourself. This will give you an idea of what appropriate actions to take. You can consult experienced people or someone you think can help you better understand. Do not be afraid to ask questions, and be open to learning new things. Doing so allows you to be more sensitive and mindful of the people around you, thus creating a welcoming and safe atmosphere.
Be mindful when communicating with others. Listen intently and be respectful to the person you are communicating with. When unsure of the person you are speaking with, it is alright to politely ask for their preferred pronoun. In other instances, for example, you encounter someone with speaking or hearing disabilities. In this case, you can adjust by talking slowly or adding hand gestures. Do not be afraid to ask them how they would prefer to communicate. Asking such a question can provide a comfortable and safe space and signifies that you care.
Refrain from making assumptions about other people. Although this happens subconsciously, we must still be careful of how we interact with others and not let assumptions get in the way of possibly creating connections with others. Do not assume identity markers such as ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, nationality, etc. On that note, avoid commenting on a person based on those assumptions. For people with disabilities, never assume what they can or cannot do. All the more, do not assume that they constantly need assistance. Politely offer help after asking if they need it, as these actions give dignity and respect to the person you are interacting with.
Inclusivity comes in many forms. For example, at Jelli Tech, we are taking measures to promote inclusivity through our clear face masks that would allow enhanced communication with our deaf community. As we have seen in the strategies shared, inclusion has many forms and various ways. It is not difficult to be inclusive, take the initiative to change, and together, let us create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone!