Use images to create visually inclusive environments

Visual images are a powerful component of culture. They have the potential to communicate a message that everyone is included and represented, and ensure that everyone sees a reflection of themselves.

They also communicate something about the person who has chosen to display the images. For example, teachers who display rainbow flags (a symbol representing LGBTQ people) in our classrooms send a message of acceptance and communicate their position as allies.

Teachers can greatly contribute to creating a culture of inclusion and equity in our classroom and school by ensuring that the environment is rich with positive and strength-based images of diverse people, including:

  • members of diverse ethnocultural and religious groups with different skin colours and styles of dress;
  • people with diverse gender identities;
  • images of girls and boys, women and men, portraying a wide range of non-gender specific behaviour, appearance and activities;
  • people in different kinds of intimate relationships (including same sex couples);
  • people with different kinds of physical and intellectual ability;
  • families with different compositions (including same sex couples, extended families, single parent families);
  • people from different socioeconomic backgrounds (including people living in apartments, in urban settings, people taking public transit, with different styles of dress).