North American Inclusion Month (NAIM) was created by the Yachad/National Jewish Council for Disabilities. Now some five years old, the North American Inclusion Month was established as a way of recognising the need for more opportunities for people with disabilities, including in both employment and education. February 2nd, 2010 saw a U.S. House of Representatives resolution, which acknowledged the goals of NAIM.
NAIM is an opportunity for society to be more inclusive regarding people with disabilities. Regardless of an individual’s disabilities the North American Inclusion Month aims to make them feel every bit a part of society as an able-bodied person. The month is not in place to create a better understanding of a disabled person’s needs and aspirations for just four weeks. The North American Inclusion Month is used as a way of galvanising a more positive approach, concerning people with disabilities, for the whole year.
Making society more inclusive for people with disabilities can begin with simple individual actions during NAIM. Going out of one’s way to interact more with people with disabilities is one example. Often people will not interact with people with disabilities because they are nervous about saying or doing the right thing. However, not feeling part of society is what will often hurt a disabled person most of all.
From children to adults, people with disabilities can feel part of things throughout North American Inclusion Month. Sport should also be inclusive, and this can be achieved by adapting aspects of that sport where necessary. Children at school, who are affected by hearing or sight problems, can be helped by aids, which will make them able to enjoy a lesson just as much as their classmates. For elderly people with disabilities a nostalgia night, which includes a sing-along, can help bring back happy memories.