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Compliments of Bradley Huchteman via Flickr

Companies have redesigned their products, services, and advertising to create inclusion.

One example is “Dolls Like Me,” founded by Amy Jandrisevits (a nurse who works in a pediatric oncology unit). She designs toys that mirror her patients’ unique condition. To date, she has crafted about 300 dolls, and she has raised 23K on a GoFundMe account—created for families who are unable to afford the $100 per doll cost (Pygar, 2019).

Another is Microsoft, which has adapted its Xbox so it clips to a wheelchair. The box comes with game transcription that converts player speech to text, and that reads text from a screen. The Xbox can be controlled by a voice command alone. Select dvds are close captioned, and customer support is available in American Sign Language within the United States.


Inclusion in the personal realm is more complex.

Bullied employees, cowed office coworkers, and people from marginalized groups may not always get a seat at the table.

Cliquishness occurs when individuals close ranks. Schadenfreude (experiencing joy in others’ misfortunes) suggests that we derive pleasure from keeping people on the periphery, in poking fun at them, in seeing them fail, and from voyeuristic sideline rubbernecking. Instead of helping we sit tight lipped.

Exclusion and outgroup categories instigate within our minds.

Tribalism results from snap judgments, based on little else than a sideways glance, and the accumulation of stereotypes derived from years of erroneous, hand-me-down second-hand information. We sustain false empowerment from a manufactured “us versus them” distinction.

Unity entails looking past our differences to see universal need. Categorizations of “other” (a phenomenon that occurs in the labeling game, where people grow to act according to the label someone else places on their forehead) prevents us from knowing “labels” as persons. We see a mere sticker with a word, and not someone who has fears, hopes, uncertainties, and dreams for a better life. Dissolving clique boundaries can mitigate indifference, persecution, and knee-jerk habitual response. Community is an obligation to see everyone as equal—and to protect those who are the targets of abuse.

Reliance on stereotypes is easy. It is also lazy, unfair, discriminatory, self-perpetuating, and cruel. Stereotyping on a mass scale may lead to a past that shames us, and to a present that punishes innocent people.

Inclusion begins within each of us and radiates outward.



Pygas, M. (2019). Crafter makes “Dolls Like Me” for kids with disabilities. Retrieved from  https://www.distractify.com/trending/2019/01/17/ube5eWMsH/woman-makes-dolls-like-me-for-kids-with-disabilities

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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