Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
To understand what discrimination is, we first have to understand the meanings of diversity, equality and inclusion within our society and social health care. Diversity outlines difference and variety; we are all different we have characteristics that make us individual, these come from and include: race, religion, age, gender, beliefs, appearance, abilities, talents and sexual orientation. These characteristics give us our uniqueness in society, not only as individuals but also within groups and different cultures.
Equality means treating people fairly, where everyone can participate and has an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential. To be able to understand what diversity and equality both mean, we have to first acknowledge our own prejudices, values and beliefs, and then we can positively accept difference in our society, and in the role of Social Care Workers. By accepting diversity and equality we support, value and respect service users, thus providing a quality standard of care.
Inclusion means including all individuals and groups, treating people fairly and with respect, giving choices, not tolerating discrimination, breaking down barriers and providing a supportive and nurturing quality standard care service.
Discrimination can be indirect or direct; it means treating an individual or a group of people less fairly than others, giving a lower standard of service because of how we view them. We can discriminate without realising we are doing it.
Indirect discrimination can occur when a condition or practice or requirement is provided through a service, e.g. information leaflets only printed in English and not providing the information in other formats. We are indirectly discriminating against some of our service users who may have different levels of communication and need information in other forms, e.g. braille, large fonts, different languages or on audio.