As an eased lockdown brings more opportunities to be active, new guidance released today (19 June) by Activity Alliance will help providers to enable welcoming, and more accessible environments.
Activity Alliance, the charity that works to make active lives possible for the disabled, has published Reopening Activity: An inclusive response, in consultation with partners across sport, leisure and disability equality. The national charity wants providers to consider the guidance as part of their ongoing commitment to disabled people's inclusion.
The resource covers areas such as session planning, engagement, and workforce. It complements and builds on other guidelines from government, Sport England, professional associations, and governing bodies.
Barry Horne, Activity Alliance Chief Executive said: Â"Even before this crisis period, disabled people faced real challenges in accessing opportunities to be active. We were making good progress on closing the unjust gap between disabled and non-disabled people's activity levels. But it's really frustrating that we've seen that inequality widen during the pandemic. This needs to change, while still addressing barriers that have existed for far too long. Inclusive activity can make a big difference to disabled people's quality of life. It is good for everyone's physical and mental health and benefits our economy.
Â"As we reopen activities, this guidance will help sport and leisure providers to play their part towards a fairer society. Organisations should embrace the opportunity and commit to be more inclusive than ever before. Use this moment in time to rethink and readjust things for the better.Â”
Counting for one in five of our population, disabled people including those with long-term health conditions, are a significant audience to engage. But as the least active group in society, the health and well-being benefits of activity are particularly important. Despite disabled people facing additional barriers in accessing sport and physical activity, research shows many want to be more active.
Providers should read and apply this document with Sport England's coronavirus (Covid-19) information and the latest government guidance which states:
Â"It is important, as more sports and activities restart, that absolutely everyone is able to access these opportunities. This includes disabled people, for whom the health and well-being benefits of activity can be particularly important.Â”
(DCMS, June 2020)
Archery GB has also just published guidance for supporting disabled people back to archery - and we would be glad to hear about your experiences of returning to our sport during this transitional period, and how comfortable you have been with the new processes. Drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org