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The core value of inclusion

02/19/2020 11:22:08 AM


Liz Shiro

My Aunt Paula has cerebral palsy. Her favorite hobby is knitting. I have the baby blankets she knitted for my sister and I when we were born and the blankets she knitted my girls when they were born. My blanket is tightly knitted with a look of expert attention. The ones she made my girls were a thicker yarn and not as tightly knitted. My aunt’s challenges were always gross motor skills, and her fine motor skills were always strong.
When I visited her last year, she told us she can’t knit anymore. Knitting is what kept her hands busy and nimble, but now her joints are too tight, and she can’t hold a knitting needle. Knitting needles are a mismatch for people with tight joints and low flexibility in their hands. Kat Holmes, author of
Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design, explains that these kind of mismatches can lead to exclusion and also remedy exclusion.
This year in both our SHACHARIT and MINCHA programs, students are participating in a program called Innovation 4 Inclusion. Students are using the concept of mismatch and inclusive design to brainstorm and hopefully solve some personal challenges for “Need Knowers” - people in the community who either have a challenge themselves or know of a challenge someone is facing.
One of our Need Knowers has some physical disabilities due to arthritis, and the other teaches at the Newton Early Childhood Program and sees daily challenges for many of her students. Students met their Need Knowers last week and are looking forward to designing models or actual products customized for their Need Knower.
We are very excited about this project and look forward to sharing the process our students are going through with the community later this year.
Inclusion is a core value at Temple Shalom and is incredibly important to us in the Education Program to make sure that all our students can be a part of our community.
Liz Shiro is the SHACHARIT
Director of Education.

Wed, August 12 2020 22 Av 5780