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The Observatory for Sport in Scotland (OSS) has partnered with ‘Project Echo’ in our new nationwide research project seeking to understand how we can break barriers and ensure sport activity is accessible to people with all kinds of disabilities in Scotland.

The Project Echo Research Team has been together since 2012, conducting research on disability sport events and social change. The initial work followed the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Toronto PanAm/Parapan American Games, and involved an examination of leveraging strategies around parasport opportunities and accessibility developed for each Games. It culminated in the publication of Leveraging Disability Sport Events: Impacts, Promises and Possibilities in 2018.

Since 2020, Project Echo has widened to look at recreational and casual sport participants, and non-participants. The OSS project, led by the University of West of Scotland team of Professor Richard Davison, Professor Gayle McPherson and Dr Liz Carlin, will draw on Project Echo data, as it develops a wider understanding of the challenges to community sport activity that face people with all forms of physical, sensory and learning disabilities in Scotland. Particularly important to us are people who would like to take part in sport activity – from boccia to swimming, athletics to bowls and everything else – but currently do not, because we believe that there is a fun sport activity for every single person, if we can remove barriers.

A key part of that work is connecting communities and enabling people’s voices to be heard, and Project Echo have created an exciting new campaign -#CaptureTheBarrier. This initiative is designed to capture your voice and opinions around any real or perceived barriers that you experience in your day-to-day activities,and help us to understand how we ‘return to play’ post Covid lockdowns.

Follow the 4 easy steps to take part in this initiative and share your perspectives.

  1. Snap a picture of access barriers in your community or online
  2. Login to Project Echo
  3. Upload your picture to the #CapturetheBarrier forum 
  4. Comment on the picture, explore other posts, and keep the discussions going.

Your voice matters. Every post and comment in Project Echo helps us better understand the experiences and circumstances facing people living with impairment as they navigate the world, and strive to be active and enjoy the social benefits of sport. Follow the #CaptureTheBarrier trend on social media.