By Sheenagh Morrison (Victoria, B.C.)
Members of the diversability community use to call October Community Living Month, now myself and most people call it Community Inclusion Month. I prefer the term Community Inclusion Month more than Community Living Month because to me, we are all living and when I hear the word “Living,” I feel that I am getting judged. When I hear the word “Inclusion,” it makes me feel proud that I have a job at a place that makes everyone feel included in the community.
When I go out with my friends I feel that I’m part of the community and that I belong. When I go to the legislative building I feel included, that I’m part of a conversation and that makes me feel proud.
A couple of years ago I was at a meeting with Inclusion BC and that’s where I first heard the term Community Inclusion Month. I had a big smile on my face because it wasn’t Community Living Month any longer. Hearing the title Community Inclusion Month was important to me.
So I would love it if we could change the title to Community Inclusion Month everywhere. Here in Victoria, I feel like I’m included and part of the community: at work; the legislative building; rec centres; and in coffee shops. I also feel included when I’m at a Victoria Royals hockey game, and at a rugby game. I feel included and part of a place that makes me feel like I’m part of the community.
There are a few coffee shops in Victoria that hire people with a diversability. They’re meant to be inclusive places as well as a workplace that hires people that have a diversability.
I feel like I belong and that I am included with my work friends when we go out in the community. I am part of the conversation. When I hear Community Living Month in conversation I don’t feel as proud as when I hear Community Inclusion Month.
Next year I might get Community Inclusion Month proclaimed by the city of Victoria.