Why is inclusive volunteering so important?


Dan has just joined the CVA team as a social media volunteer, here he shares his thoughts on the importance of inclusive volunteering.

Writer? Check.

Film maker? Yep.

Handy with computer/techno stuff? You bet.

Has a disability? Sure do.

It’s amazing how often the last one renders the first three totally irrelevant.

Preconceptions do huge amounts of damage. Such as the ridiculous assumption that because my legs behave similarly to those of a Charlie Chaplin drunk the brain does also. Smashing assumptions has always been my thing.

I’m fortunate.  I co-write a charity twitter feed, write a newsletter and design artwork for another and have a fresh challenge as a teacher of basic computer skills in the offing. All because a few people were switched on enough to look past the obvious flaws in the packaging and bother to check out the perfectly functioning goods within.

The few need to become the majority.  Reluctance to engage with people with disabilities stems from people’s readiness to swallow the views of others, rather than chew the facts over for themselves. My skills are equal to any non-disabled person’s. Some are probably superior. Still I’m marginalised.

Why? Easy.  Most people’s attitudes to people with disabilities are, to put it mildly, ill informed. That’s a real problem.

It’s not hard to solve this problem. It’s ridiculously easy.  No one needs to reinvent the wheel or rediscover the theory of relativity. All people need to do is step back, take a fresh look and take a punt. What’s the worst that could happen?

To use a writing/ film term, isn’t it time that we all flipped the script?

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