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Inclusion is the right of every individual, the aim is to ensure that everyone regardless of age, culture, need, race gender or disability has a sense of belonging. Inclusion is about eliminating discrimination and intolerance and promoting equal access, support and opportunities for everyone.

In an inclusive environment, everyone is treated with dignity and respect, the human rights principles of equality, fairness and autonomy are actively promoted by the organisation. Providing care and support to individuals is your duty.

To achieve this, the organisation should have practices policies and procedures that are documented, promoted by management and fully understood and embraced by all employees.

Within the care environment, to ensure that the care you are providing is inclusive and respectful, it is important to understand and recognise the differences by increasing your knowledge and understanding of your clients. Take the time to learn about the client’s beliefs, culture and values, find out what they like and dislike and ask how they would like to be addressed. Using the information gained to ensure that you interact with clients in the way they would choose and prefer so that you can support and treat them in an appropriate manner.

Never make assumptions about a client, never use inappropriate and disrespectful language relating to a client, that could cause offence to any individual.

The policies and practices should ensure that all clients and employees feel respected and valued for who they are, have full and active participation and a sense of belonging.

As an individual responsible for caring for others, you have a duty of care to challenge discrimination in a positive way and promote inclusion. When challenged effectively, discrimination can be prevented.

When a discriminatory remark is made in the presence of the victim, not challenging it could lead the victim to believe that they cannot rely on your support or even suggest to the victim and others, that you are happy with the negative behaviour. If you are a manager you have no option but to challenge discrimination.

When possible assuming that it would cause no further upset to the victim discriminatory remarks or behaviour should ideally be challenged immediately,

Trying to ascertain the motivation for the comment or behaviour is a good way to deal with the situation. Pointing out calmly and professionally that their comment or behaviour is unacceptable and make sure that they are aware that it is also unlawful and explain why.

The best way to challenge discrimination is to change the person’s attitude towards other people and make them understand how upsetting and hurtful their behaviour can be. By standing up to discrimination will make the person aware of the fact that it is not tolerated within your organisation which should make it less likely to happen again.

Please ask your manager or supervisor for information relating to your company or organisations policy on reporting discrimination.