Reflections on the Scottish Inclusion Institute (by Jack Pearpoint)

To the Skirl of Bagpipes, a boran (drum), fiddle and voice – we were all learning about Scottish ‘line dancing’. 


One of the many learnings was that it isn’t nearly as easy as it looks – and some of the locals can Really Swing. 



The requirement:  "Show up and Join in."


This was the closing event/part of the 2nd Scottish Inclusion Institute held in West Kilbride, Sept 20-22/2011 – on the cold, wet and windy  (the Scots call it ‘fresh!!’) West coast of Scotland.   It was a remarkable gathering of over 300 people in clutches of about 150+ per day.





There was an enticing array of presentations, but for me, Euen Mitchell’s talk “He’s Just My Brother” about his brother Ross was a highlight.  Euen is 16; Ross is 14.  Euen is labeled outstanding, and Ross is labeled brilliant artist and ‘autistic’.  Euen ‘arranged’ for many of his senior classmates to attend his presentation.  There were immediate results:  several students asked if it would be ok to get to know Ross a little better and hang out; another group decided that Ross needed an ipad and have begun the fund raising drive.  Their ideas and their reactions signal powerful and engaging hope for the future.



Euan also did and evening workshop – teaching us all origami (paper) – a hobby at which he excels.  His friend, Jack, taught “Aerogami” – his own invention – designing and creating paper airplanes.  Many of us learned about the dynamics of unpowered flight, and in the process, met another delightful young man. 


On the trip tothe train station, Jack’s mum, Albi Taylor told us the ‘back story’ about Jack.  It was a brutal story that is progressing to a spectacular future – as Jack is now exploring a future that engages some of his rather amazing talents.



Where you at the Scottish Inclusion Institute?


What were the 'highlights' for you?  


(Please leave a comment to share with others)





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Comment by Alistair Welsh on December 6, 2011 at 9:37am


I'm sorry I missed the chance to meet you and say hello - must have just missed each other at Jack's Aerogami workshop. I think he has a big future in promoting his craft! I too have fond memories of the closing night, being able to dance at the Caleigh (very amusing to hear it described as Scottish 'line dancing) with people from all over the world who did indeed give it a go. Watching people get into the dance 'sets' as we call them, being all over the place to start with but finish having nailed it and see the delight on everyone's faces was great. I really enjoyed the chance to get up on stage with my colleague Iain, play and sing a few tune's and see the dance floor fill up (well taking me out of my comfort zone - especially seeing it played back at close of the institute). It was a fitting end to a great caring and sharing experience with some amazing people.

Other favourite highlights - most definitley Euan teling his and Ross's story having known Jaynie and worked with her since the first Institute. Cormac's keynote on ABCD and examples of their work based on these principles. This was very interesting given the work we've done with Connie in group person centred planning. Having the privilege of graphically recording the conversation with the people who took part in the Scotland/Slovenia exchange, facilitated by John. Tom's telling of the Waddie Welcome story and his big point about 'audaciousness' (and what a great word that is).

Thanks to Jaynie and all!



Comment by Becki Pauls on November 29, 2011 at 7:13pm

You can see a little more of Euan, Jack and Albi with the attached links.


Albi Taylor’s Story of Jack:  (an eight minute version can be found on our inclusionnetwork site at:


Albi likes the full version which runs to 21 minutes and thus has been split into Part I and Part II on Youtube.


Part I:

Part II:


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