Expert Rick Brink on an inclusive society
My Yalp

Expert Rick Brink

Rick Brink

Let's build an inclusive society

“When children get the chance, they play. Anytime, anywhere. They do this because playing is of vital importance to children. In fact, playing is a child’s right.” – Expert Rick Brink

That on the 5th of December, we celebrate St. Nicholas. For weeks now, children have been eagerly awaiting what will be in their shoes on pakjesavond (this is when they open their presents). Construction boxes, craft items, dolls, the latest FIFA game. I remember very well that the night before Pakjesavond, you could barely sleep from excitement. And although my parents sometimes put something useful in my shoe, I, like every other child, wanted only one thing in the end: toys. When children get the chance, they play. Anytime, anywhere. They do this because playing is of vital importance to children. In fact, playing is a child’s right.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the Netherlands also ratified in 1995, states: “The States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to participate in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child, and to participate freely in cultural and artistic life.

Nice words. Still, not always easy to put into practice. Because playing together is unfortunately not self-evident. Children with disabilities encounter additional physical and social barriers. Nine out of ten playgrounds are not easily accessible. The entrance gate cannot be opened from your wheelchair; paths are impassable, the playground playsets are not playable. Children with disabilities are not in the picture.

Because playgrounds are almost always created by adults (without disabilities), not with but for children with disabilities. Playing is a right. And for us as a society, playing together is a duty as far as I am concerned. Changing a mindset and how we, as a community, deal with people with disabilities, start with the youngest generation.

Rick Brink is the Dutch Minister of Disability Affairs wants children, with and without disabilities, to play together, have lessons together, play sports together, and have fun together so that children become aware that some have a disability and others do not because an inclusive start is a basis for the rest of your life!

Over expert Rick Brink

Rick Brink the Dutch Minister of Disability Affairs and wants every child to go to school and play in his or her neighborhood. Experts from special education should come to regular primary schools.

It does something with children if they always have to take another exit and use a van to another school. You take that with you for the rest of your life. When looking for a job, a relationship. I’m going to work hard towards an inclusive society.