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What we see......... Depends on what we look for.

Photo shows a camera lens being held up by a hand in the foreground, with mountains and a lake in the background. The Lens is focusing into the centre of the background.

Which lens are we looking through and why does it matter?

Creating a rich inclusive environment, which not only stimulates the senses but brings laugher and friendship to activity is what we, at LUSU strive to do. But why does it matter??

Last week was a week full in rich conversations with a variety of friends and colleagues over the phones, zoom calls whilst in lockdown and I have found myself debating the need for all activity, whether it is writing new courses, delivering activity, creating resources to ensure inclusivity is at the core.

But why?

We all learn in different styles and our brains are wired differently and to coin a phrase – “one size doesn’t fit all”. As a coach and former teacher, I have spent years ensuring I differentiate in my delivery, and over the past few years I have SHOUTED about STEP (Space, Task, Equipment & People – if you change one element you can differentiate for all). I continue this into my tutoring and content developing, striving to achieve inclusivity which caters for all and not just the majority.

However, we all make mistakes and can learn from each other

I was reminded the other day, when placing a photo on Twitter, that I hadn’t added the description and therefore had stopped many people from experiencing my tweet to the fullest. They had only read half the story – my feelings about the photo. Due to not describing the photo, my feelings didn’t relate to anything, it was a mystery to the person who couldn’t view the photo. I was pleased to have been told I had omitted using ALT* in twitter and embarrassed I hadn’t automatically done this.

But again – why does this matter?

Being on the side-line, looking in and not being able to join in, is a lonely place. We may not wish this on anyone, but we can very quickly create this by not creating an inclusive environment.

Which lens are you looking through?

Have you considered looking through the lens of the someone who uses a wheelchair to move around, or a visually impaired person, possibly that of a parent, your neighbour, maybe you haven’t considered looking through another lens at all? I would challenge you to do so, both on and off the sports field / pitch and court.

I would also challenge you to reach for the lens which ensures that every participant feels safe, has a sense of belonging and purpose, especially as we all come out of being on the side-line whilst experiencing another lockdown and open up your delivery to many more people who want to be active, make friends, have fun and feel included.

*Alt text (short for alternative text) is a textual description of an image, such as a GIF. This description is announced by assistive technologies to tell people who cannot see the image what the image is showing. It is very important to add alt text for all images, including GIFs.

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