Increasing numbers of deaf and disabled children already enjoy taking part in sport. You should ensure that your organisation is working to safeguard them.
Despite some traditionally negative misconceptions about deaf and disabled young people, the reality is that the vast majority are ready, willing and able to participate in sport when they have access to facilities and appropriately trained staff to support them.
A young sitting-volleyball player said:
"Try and make [sport] more inclusive for disabled children - have a lot more sports they can play in school. Sitting volleyball is a great one because it can be played by all."
Sports and activity providers have a responsibility to ensure that they take steps to include and safeguard deaf and disabled children. Staff and volunteers need to be supported to understand the importance to include deaf and disabled young people in sport, appreciate the additional vulnerability of this group, and understand the steps needed to safeguard them.
- Access for All: Opening Doors - English Federation of Disability Sport (PDF) is a guide to support your sports club to improve physical access for disabled people.
Inclusion refers to steps required to allow deaf and disabled participants to access activities. This includes considering the need to adapt and modify coaching practices, equipment and aspects of the activities.
Motivated, well informed and supported coaches can often make relatively straightforward practical adaptations and modifications to create an environment that caters for many individuals' needs.
This will include making reasonable adjustments for disabled people in the way they deliver their services. This is so that a disabled person is not put at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled people in accessing the activities.
For example, sitting volleyball can be played by both disabled and non-disabled young people, and disability tennis offers adaptations for wheelchair users or visually impaired young people allowing additional bounces of the ball (depending on the impairment).
- 'Disability discrimination' is a CPSU video to help anyone involved in sports activities.
What disabled children and young people want
We arranged for a group of disabled young people to meet with GB Wheelchair Basketball player Ade Adepitan to talk about challenges they have faced when trying to get involved in sport activities.
We produced a video of this event which offers advice to sports organisations on how to break down barriers and make it easier for disabled young people to get involved in sport.