This week we have been celebrating World Down Syndrome Awareness Day in all our sessions. Odd Socks, new tracks and makaton signing to the iconic 'A Thousand Years' has brought smiles, laughter and a few tears to some. Our CanDo Weds team worked hard as always in their odd socks and we had some iconic tracks - True Colours, This Is Me. Celebrating this day is so important to me - my sister Jo has Down Syndrome and was born in the late 80s. There was a lot of stigma back then my family fought a lot for Jo to be included in mainstream settings. I think that is why I'm so passionate about what I do. Everyone has the right to have access to opportunities - why should we put limits??
This week in my seniors gym classes, I had a member who was partially sighted join me. Visual teaching cues and directional teaching needed quickly revising and more vocal cues in advance were needed. No need for patronising, just clear more indepth cues needed. Explaining what muscles needed to be engaged, where the stretch should be felt is key when teaching this class, but even more so when we have a member who is visually impaired and when they find it difficult to follow the examples/ modelling shown. There is no need for anyone to feel excluded or frustrated in a session if the instructor adapts their teaching style in order to get the best out of their participants.
No two people are the same, every single person on this planet has something that makes them unique. Why not celebrate it?