Historically, the conversation about students with more significant disabilities has been about the exclusion to inclusion continuum. My focus, in line with the work of Eric Carter, is on the inclusion to belonging continuum. I believe we have to start with inclusion and then put our efforts into making it authentic. Eric Carter has defined belonging in a way that I think reflects authentic inclusion.
Al Condeluci's work on social capital aligns with Eric Carter's inclusion graphic. He presents three elements of support that are critical to consider.
Below is a brief introduction of each of these and a link to a page that expands on them.
The roots at the bottom are the social supports that sustain human well-being and growth, and serve as the foundation of trust and reciprocity upon which relationships of mutual benefit can be built.
One step above, comprising the trunk of the social capital tree, are adult developmental relationships that foster self-exploration, growth, and engagement in the larger world.
At the top, the branches of the tree are the investments in ever-evolving connections, networks, and relationships of mutual benefit that can be harvested for the resources needed to accomplish one’s goals.
Well-being and Resources originate in the social circumstance in which people develop.
Developmental Relationships help them “discover who they are; develop abilities to shape their own lives; and learn how to engage with and contribute to the world around them.”