Mixed Ability was conceived to promote social inclusion and a meaningful interaction between individuals and groups who wouldn’t necessarily share paths in their local communities. At least not in ‘normal’ circumstances. Many of our participants have experienced – or still experience – exclusion, social isolation and segregation on a daily basis because of their perceived diversity, and Mixed Ability is their only asset. An asset to their physical, social and mental wellbeing, a space of equality, rights and equal opportunities. A crucial part of their identity.
With the current and fast deteriorating situation created by COVID-19, this asset is under threat.
We live tumultuous days, where we all have to reinvent ourselves and the way we work as a society. It is important to remain lucid, but above all to remain human. Of course, we must abide by the official advice from the experts, keep a high alert on social interactions and maintain physical distances.
But we believe ‘physical distancing’ shouldn’t turn into ‘social isolation’. If something these times are teaching us, is that no matter how good and special we think we are, we can instantly become just another number.
This is the time when we need one another most. We all must stay connected, share ideas, fight the fear of the unknown, whether this is inside or outside ourselves. In the old days, it was called solidarity.
So, please, whatever happens over the next few weeks, don’t panic, stay true to yourself, stay connected, check on your friends, provide meaningful opportunities to talk or interact, to laugh or cry, to sing or shout, whatever these might look like. Start making plans for the future.
IMAS is here to provide a platform. We are asking our Mixed Ability friends to share their ways of keeping busy, healthy and fit with a short video. Tell us your top tips using #MixedAbilityConnects or send us your videos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.