The Disability Inclusion Triangle shows the synergistic elements required to create Inclusion for people with disabilities in society. Inclusion results from the existence of the three elements of Motivation, Means, and Opportunity which is driven by the collaborative efforts of Society and the Individuals with disabilities themselves.
- Motivation refers to the intention, the desire, the incentive for Inclusion to happen.
- Means refers to the actual ability, the real life capacity for Inclusion to happen.
- Opportunity refers to the events, the places, the times where Inclusion happens.
In order to build Inclusion, Society must have the Motivation for it to happen, facilitate the Means such that it can happen, and create Opportunities where and when it can happen. In addition, individuals with disabilities must also be Motivated to be included. They must develop their abilities, as much as possible, to enable the Means of being included, and they must seek out Opportunities to be included in events and activities.
The Disability Inclusion Triangle follows the model of the Fire Triangle which illustrates that sustained fire is requires all three elements of oxygen, fuel, and heat. Removing any of the elements will put out the fire. In the same manner, lack of one or more of Motivation, Means, and Opportunity will prevent Inclusion.
Systemic Inclusion in society is unlikely to be achieved without the dual effect of Society pushing Means and Opportunity from the top down to people with disabilities while they are simultaneously pulling themselves from the bottom up by creating their own Means and Opportunity.
Each segment of Society will have different specifics and expressions of Means and Opportunity. Inclusion in sports and recreation varies from Inclusion in media and the arts which varies from Inclusion in education and business. Regardless of the specifics, the underlying concept remains the same. Inclusion is created by the existence and interaction of Motivation, Means, and Opportunity as illustrated by the Disability Inclusion Triangle.
Diverse Approaches to Creating Inclusion
The Disability Inclusion Triangle illustrates that there are multiple distinct pathways that must be addressed to maximize the creation of Inclusion. There areas are:
- Society works to increase its Motivation for Inclusion.
- Society works to increase its Means for Inclusion.
- Society works to increase its Opportunities for Inclusion.
- Individuals with disabilities strive to increase their Motivation to be Included.
- Individuals with disabilities strive to increase their Means to be Included.
- Individuals with disabilities strive to increase their Opportunities to be Included.
Each of these pathways can be further deconstructed to determine more specific methods to further these areas. In addition, each pathway has the possibility of having an effect on one or more of the other pathways. The result of this step-step-by-step breakdown will provide the building blocks for a roadmap for creating societal Inclusion for people with disabilities in a systematic manner.
It is imperative that development of this roadmap include input from people with disabilities since they are integral to its implementation. They are also intimately familiar with many of the existing roadblocks and friction¹ to Inclusion that they regularly encounter. Their viewpoints will be critical to ultimate success.
In this case, friction is defined as the opposite of a “frictionless transaction/event” where the people with disabilities have to apply additional effort beyond that of an able-bodied person in order for the transaction/event to occur.