The Vermont Autism Task Force envisions a society that respects and promotes the unique perspectives of all people. Therefore, we value 1) human diversity; 2) the commitment to full equity for all, and 3) the opportunity for full inclusion for all.
We understand and believe these three values to mean:
Diversity refers to the representation of all our varied identities which encompass race, gender, religion, gender expression/identity, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, political perspective, learning styles, and marital status, among others. We believe that mutual respect and genuine appreciation of diversity promotes our common humanity.
Equity refers to the fair treatment, without discrimination, for all in our society to live, participate, and enjoy the equality of opportunity to access all the benefits, the services, and the supports in all aspects of our society. We believe that equity brings about a society based on the attitude of respect, dignity, and impartiality for all its members.
Inclusion means that any individual or group can be and will feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued in their community. It is the right of everyone to fully participate in all processes, activities, decision-making, and policy making, etc. affecting their lives. This includes sharing of power in the face of traditional power differences. We believe that inclusion will bring about a welcoming climate that embraces the varied identities of all and offers respect in all interactions of people within our society.