Being accessible in your sport can mean: physical access to premises and facilities; or considering aspects of universal design to allow everyone to participate in whatever way they desire. It can also mean your sport or club providing a welcoming, supporting environment where everyone feels comfortable and can fit in. Try these actions:
- Assess your sport/club premises and facilities and see if any physical access issues need to be addressed.
- Review how people get in touch with your sport/club and see that you are catering for those communication methods.
- Encourage positive and sensitive interaction by all members (particularly committee members), that is accepting and shows willingness to cater for differences.
Choice in sport can be limited for minority and disadvantaged groups and for people with a disability, but choices are often limited by our perceptions of what people can do or what they want. We need to constantly ask ourselves – do we provide choice and opportunity to make our sport universally accessible to everyone? Try the following:
- Always put the person first – engage and ask people in your sport/club and community what flexibility or adaptations need to be made to your club or sport to make it more attractive and accessible, rather than assuming.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – most people would always prefer to be asked/consulted, than to have assumptions made on their behalf.
- Don’t be so afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing that you don’t say or do anything at all - relax and just be willing to communicate and listen.