Two weeks ago we had our first session with the MINDS group, they work with mentally disabled people and help them integrate within society. Prior to our first session there were a lot guidelines we were given in relation to how we treat the people who are coming. Our aim is to connect with them and build a relationship without intentionally offending them or making them feel as though they are different.
These people go through enough as it is trying to integrate within society, it is our job as their service partners to make them feel welcome without making them feel vulnerable. It would be ethically wrong to treat them any different but, we do need to keep in mind that they are different in some ways and there are some things we need to do to ensure both their safety and comfortability and our own. Our behaviour with them must be welcoming but also shouldn’t give them the impression that the way they treat us is the way they can treat everyone they meet.
It is very enlightening to be a part of this service as we are able to open our minds as to how everybody is different but, we can all dance and listen to music and that something all of us in that room have in common.