In 2018 I created the Inclusion Tips email series. Each Monday I send out an inclusion tip direct to the inboxes of subscribers from all over the world.
Each inclusion tip is super simple and designed to help you take action on inclusion.
So why share all the tips here when I already share them via the email series? I hear you ask. Well there's a few reasons.
You might be one of those people who just don't want more emails. And that's totally cool. I get it. So I'm sharing them here for you, in one spot, not in your inbox. Because I still want you to get the benefit from these tips.
You may be already subscribed to the weekly Inclusion Tips emails. Thanks! But, maybe you missed a few weeks or have deleted or "lost" one of the tips and would love to refer back to one or more or all of the tips you've received. Well this is for you too.
The third reason is for anyone who hasn't come across the Inclusion Tips emails before. If you find some gems of value in this post please consider subscribing.
With all that said below are all the tips I created and added to the Inclusion Tips email series in 2018.
A note before you start exploring the tips. Some are long, some are short, some have links to more resources and content. While there is a huge amount of valuable information I don't recommend you read all of them at once. So maybe bookmark this page and come back every now and then.
Also, while one or two of the tips refer to each other you can read them in pretty much any order so skim the headings and check out the ones that seem interesting to you.
Enjoy, share, but most of all take action!
Just click the heading to reveal the tip.
So for your first inclusion tip I wanted to share some of the benefits of inclusion for clubs and sport organisations. Of course there are plenty more but these are just a few important ones.
1. Revenue! More members lead to more income.
Sometimes when we think about groups of people who face disadvantage when getting involved in sport we often associate the need for charitable support. But not all people with disability or who recently arrived in Australia for example rely on charity or financial assistance, most people regardless of their background can make an equal financial contribution to the club as other members. They will pay membership fees, contribute to fundraisers and attend social functions.
What other benefits does being inclusive provide in your club or organisation?
Click here to share your thoughts and ideas on Facebook. Also, make sure you check out what others have said.
Good businesses understand their consumers needs and wants then design and deliver products and services accordingly. This is fundamental to a thing called supply and demand. The same goes when it comes to inclusive sport.
When you apply this idea in the context of inclusive sport this means that sport providers have a responsibility to supply opportunities for engagement that meet the explicit needs of targeted population groups. While on the other hand also acknowledging that there is a demand from the prospective target market to participate in these sport options.
To do this we need to firstly understand our community, connect with them to find out what their needs and wants are then design activities that suit those needs.
If you want to learn more click here to read my blog post.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this idea, so leave a comment under the post.
Sometimes in work and in life we need that one person to guide us through. That’s where having a mentor can be super valuable. We can have mentors in different areas of our work and personal life. Whether it’s someone who guides us in our career, through the challenges of family life or in our academic pursuits, a mentor is our go to person.
Personally, I’ve had many mentors and I credit much of my early career progress to the advice, guidance and support they gave me. I have quite a few people I would consider mentors, for example Peter Downs, Manager at Play by the Rules taught me a lot about inclusive sport practice, after Peter founded The Inclusion Club he invited me to join as a Director and we continue to work together on a number of projects. Brendan Keogh former Australian Paralympic Swimming Head Coach taught me about high performance sport, team culture and has been a sounding board over the years, we still catch up for coffees and the odd ‘soft drink’. So as you can see a good mentor can have a strong and lasting impact.
In today’s inclusion tip I offer some suggestions about how to find a mentor to help guide you through your own inclusive sport journey.
Who makes a good mentor? A mentor is someone who leads by example – they’ve been there done that. They are also someone you aspire to be like. They will willingly help you learn, but they wont do it for you. So think about someone who you admire and see as someone who can help you with your specific goals. Get started by making a list of potential people, they may be people you already know or people you have not met. Asking colleagues for suggestions and referrals is a good idea too. Keep in mind you may have several mentors, like me!
What does a mentor do? A mentor will:
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses
- Help you understand key issues and processes relating to inclusion and diversity
- Introduce new perspectives and redirect your thinking
- Help you make decisions
- Introduce you to important resources and people
How to ask someone to be your mentor? First of all think about what you will say. Be clear about what you are after. For example simply asking “I need you as a mentor. I have to increase diversity.” may put people off, especially if you don’t explain what this means. So if you are asking for a casual coffee every now and then say that, if you are asking for regular structured advice explain that. Here’s a suggestion: “Hi Michael. I could use some mentoring to figure out how to embed inclusion in my strategic plan for the coming year. You’ve done it before so I’d love to pick your brain. Could we get together for a coffee and talk about it a few times over the next month or so?”. This is clearer and likely a more attractive offer.
Make plans. Don’t leave them hanging! As soon as you can, make a plan to get together. Set some objectives for the discussion, this will help ensure its a valuable process for you and your mentor. Hey, if it goes well plan some more meetings.
Make it good for both of you. If your mentor is giving you lots of free advice make sure you repay the favour in other ways. You could offer to help them with one of their next projects for example. In some circumstances a mentor may ask for some kind of financial investment, be prepared to consider this. If the person can help you achieve your goals then it could be well worth the investment.
Say thanks! It’s a simple thing but very important. Make sure you show appreciation and thank them for their specific contributions.
So, do you have a mentor? How could someone help you achieve your goals for inclusive sport?
This one is a fundamental concept everyone should get their head around.
Inclusion in sport encompasses many different options in a range of settings. It is not always about including a person in standard sport settings without any modifications and it’s also not just about providing separate options for specific groups. We actually need to think about inclusion in sport in terms of a spectrum. The inclusion spectrum is about considering the range of options available and adapting these to suit the needs, goals and capabilities of participants.
This is simply about creating choices, by adapting and modifying what we normally do, and providing the opportunity to get involved.
The inclusion spectrum can include sport activities with no modifications, minor modifications or major modifications, they could be provided only for a specific group (such as for people with disability) or primarily for a specific group or they could even be non-playing roles like coaching or officiating.
So take a moment to think about the range of choices your club or organisation offers. Do you provide opportunities across the inclusion spectrum?
You can learn more plus download a free worksheet in my blog post here.
Share your examples with the ISD community by leaving a comment under the post.
Let’s talk about rules.
One of the most important contributors to successful inclusion in sport activities is adapting things to suit the needs of individual participants. This means we need to sometimes change the way we do things, including changing the rules!
Making changes to the rules that govern games and activities can enable greater inclusion. To cater for different abilities, skill levels, impairments and understanding you can add, remove or simplify rules then as skill and understanding increase further refine them. Here are some suggestions:
- allow for more bounces in games like tennis, more steps in basketball or more hits in volleyball
- reduce the number of players on a team to increase the chances of getting involved
- increase the number of players on a team to decrease the amount of activity required by each player
- more frequent substitutions
- allow rolls, bounces, or underarm in cricket, baseball or softball
- modify the distances for pitching or defending
- reduce or remove competitive elements such as scoring
In a competitive setting there are some really great examples of where modified rules enable fair and meaningful participation. For example, Multi Class competition in swimming and athletics use modified rules and scoring systems to enable participation of people with a range of impairments. Walking Football uses modified rules to make the game more accessible to players of all ages, abilities and fitness levels. While Oztag is a fast paced, skilful, low contact version of rugby and rugby league that is suitable for young and old. There are many more examples!
You can learn more about adapting and modifying in my tutorial post here.
I’d love to hear about the types of rule changes you have made in your sport programs or activities, just share in the comments under the post.
Get out there, make inclusion happen!
Are your club or sport organisation’s members and participants reflective of the diversity in the community you deliver sport activities in?
If the answer is no, or maybe, or ahhhhhh… then you probably need to build a better understanding of your community and how to connect with them. I call this understanding ‘place’. For me this is a key element to achieving inclusion and diversity outcomes in sport.
Basically, if you have a good understanding of the types of people in your community – where they come from, what language they speak, how old they are, where they are located compared to your club or facilities etc. – then you are in a better position to connect with them, understand their needs and ultimately deliver sport options that they want and can access. Plus you will have a idea of whether your membership genuinely reflects your community.
So with that said here are some suggestions for how you can get to know you community better:
- Use ABS Stats. You can use their free Data by Region tool or Community Profiles tool.
- Contact your local council for a community profile report. Just give them a call.
- Get a free community profile from .id. You will need to sign up but this gives you access to free community profiles for most regions in Australia and other great resources. Click here.
- Book a Place Profiler session with me. This requires a small investment but is a good option if you want to go deeper and learn how to apply what you find out about your community. Click here for more information.
As you may have noticed these suggestions are relevant to the Australian context. So, for our overseas friends you will need to search out local community demographics data sources similar to these above. If you are from another country please share your data sources, just reply to this email or share in the comments of this blog post.
There you go. I hope this helps you on your way towards getting to know your community better.
I hope you have been enjoying the inclusion tips!
This time I’m sharing a brief but powerful tip. This one is as much a life tip as it is an inclusion tip and it’s something that I try to live by. The tip is simply this… share what you know and teach those around you. In more poetic terms…
A lot of the time when it comes to inclusion in sport we rely on the passion and expertise of one key person, perhaps you are that one person. But, the reality is for sport clubs and organisations to make inclusion happen everyone needs to play a role. To do so we all need to build our understanding of inclusion issues and feel empowered to take action, this comes with knowledge.
In teaching others we teach ourselves.
– Traditional proverb
You, yes YOU, have experience, skills, understanding and passion (more than you may realise). So please share what you know, teach those around you. Whether it’s inclusion, coaching, relationships, biology, cooking, juggling anything! There is always something you know that someone else doesn’t. Share it.
So with this in mind why not start now? Forward this post or just send the link below to your contact list and invite them to subscribe to the Inclusion Tips emails. This way more people can learn and take action on inclusion in sport.
P.S. If you are looking to increase your own knowledge, or you want to help others do the same, I highly recommend you check out the free resources and content at www.theinclusionclub.com. This is the perfect example of people sharing what they know in order to teach others. Also, just so you know I am a director of The Inclusion Club along with global experts and co-founders Peter Downs and Ken Black, two people who also live by the mantra of sharing what they know.
This time we will look at our networks and who the key people are.
One of the key elements for successful inclusive sport programs is the ability to establish, tap into and maximise strong networks. Certain people, organisations, circumstances or environments might play a very important role in whether your target participant does or doesn’t engage in your sport activity.
To achieve this you need to put the participant at the centre of things then identify who plays a role in ensuring their participation in your sport program or activity. To help we can use what is called the ‘spheres of influence‘. Here’s a quick summary:
You need to think about the role of the people or organisations in each of the spheres.
Core: Closest influencers – those close personal connections, the most critical contributors (such as parents, carers, family members etc)
Inner: Known influencers – those in the wider personal circle, the relevant contributors (such as colleagues, personal friends, service providers etc.
Outer: Potential influencers – those in the wider community, the possible contributors (such as friends of friends, community organisations, transport etc.)
Discovery: Unknown influencers – those unconnected community members, the unidentified contributors (such as people from other sports or clubs, other communities etc.)
The key is to consider how people and organisations influence the likelihood of successful participation in your sport activity.
When it comes to achieving true lasting engagement in sport activities, particularly for people in the community who might face disadvantage when it comes to getting involved in sport, sometimes its difficult to know exactly who or what the main influencers are. So having a framework like this to identify them is very useful.
You can learn more about building strong networks using the spheres of influence (including a free downloadable worksheet) in my blog post here.
Also, please share who you find to be the strongest influencers in your sport programs and activities by leaving a comment under the post.
I hope you have had your coffee, because this tip may challenge your thinking.
Generally speaking, inclusion happens when everybody has a fair opportunity to participate at a level and in a way they choose. This requires the barriers and challenges that lead to disadvantage to be limited or removed.
Often we associate equality – treating everyone the same – as the best approach to do this. The question is, does treating everyone the same always remove barriers and challenges and is it always fair?
Here are a few concepts to consider:
Equality noun. the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.
In a sport context equality is about treating everyone the same, providing the same support and resources to enable participation. For example everyone has the same rules, equipment, facilities and funding or is included in standard programs or activities in the same way. Equality provides everyone with the same resources and supports to overcome a barrier or reach a threshold. It’s only fair if everyone starts from the same point.
Equity noun. the quality of being fair and impartial.
In sport equity is about treating everyone as individuals, providing the supports and resources to enable participation, specific to individual need. For example this could be achieved by adapting rules, equipment and facilities and providing targeted funding or programs for particular groups of people. Equity provides individuals with the resources and supports they need to overcome barriers or reach a threshold. It caters for individual need. This is only fair when there are enough resources to go around.
Liberation noun. freedom from limits on thought or behaviour.
In sport liberation represents the removal of barriers or imposed thresholds that cause disadvantage rather than provision of resources and supports. For example changing an exclusionary rule, reducing or removing prohibitive costs, changing a facility to improve access etc. This is only fair when the barriers or limitations can be removed for everyone.
So whats the message here?
In designing sport activities that address the challenges of realising inclusion we need to ask:
- Does it address disadvantage?
- Is it fair?
- Does it achieve true inclusion for everyone?
Then take an approach, or mix of approaches, that achieve our inclusion goals.
Learn more about these concepts in my blog post here.
Then in the comments under the post share some of the barriers and challenges that exist in your sport and what solutions you have put in place to make inclusion happen.
“A picture speaks a thousand words”
This is true, BUT, we need to make sure the images we use send the RIGHT message.
We need to look at people from diverse groups as ordinary people and customers. For example, far too often we see images of a person with a disability in a clinical or medical setting or alongside an inspirational quote other wise known as “inspiration porn”. If you’re not sure why this is a problem you need to watch this https://www.ted.com/talks/stella_young_i_m_not_your_inspiration_thank_you_very_much
When marketing to these audiences, as with any other, the aim is to create a connection with the viewer that helps them think, “I can see myself there”. Whether it’s people with a disability, diverse cultures, girls, older people, whoever you are trying to engage with, the imagery you use should reflect the normal treatment you would give any other person, customer or market segment you are trying to capture.
So here are a few considerations:
- use real people in real settings – the easiest way to do this is take your own photos! Of course make sure you have permission from the people in your photos and you are aware of issues relating to underage people (Play by the Rules has some great guidance on this here).
- avoid cliches, stereotypes and inspirationalisation (I think I made that word up)
- put images in all the places you want people to see them – on your website, around your facilities and venues, in your promotional material, on social media
- keep it balanced and avoid tokenism
- do it regularly – don’t wait for the one day in the year set aside to promote ‘this group’ or ‘that cause’. Make it part of your every day marketing efforts.
Sometimes it’s difficult to get the images you want, especially if you are just starting out or are looking to engage with new groups that aren’t yet involved in what you do. This is where good quality stock images can play a role. Below are four sources that might be worth considering.
1. Google search – This is a good option to find free images. It will take you a while to find something of decent quality and you need to be very wary of copy right, basically you can’t just find an image online and use it for your own end. Click here for a quick guide from Google. To start searching click here.
2. Ask your national or state sporting organisation – Many NSO’s and SSO’s will keep a bank of images or have access to images that could be used to promote their sport. Again this is a possible way to get images for free. In most cases getting in touch with the marketing or media contact is good place to start.
3. Photoability – The good people at PhotoAbility are dedicated to increasing the usage of imagery of people with disabilities in the tourism, leisure and lifestyle mediums. Images from PhotoAbility do come at a cost and they offer a range of subscription options. Click here to start searching*.
4. iStock – iStock created the crowd-sourced stock industry—they’re the original go-to site for user-generated stock photos, illustrations, and video clips. You can get super quality images and video to use in your website, promotional materials and communications. Again they come at a cost and you will need to search out the best images to suit your message. Click here to start searching*.
*Affiliate disclosure: The links to Photability and iStock are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something so please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals for inclusion in your sport club or organisation.
For sports deliverers to achieve successful inclusion in sports activities it is vital they work with the community to plan, deliver and validate programs.
But, how do we get everyone together and moving in the same direction?
Collective Impact is an idea that may just help you out.
Basically, Collective Impact is about people and organisations coming together in a structured way to achieve social change. There are 5 conditions of Collective Impact that can offer sport deliverers at all levels a method for building momentum towards successful inclusive outcomes.
- Common Agenda: This involves people coming together to clearly define the issue or problem and create a way to solve it.
- Shared Measurement System: This means agreeing to track progress in the same way to enable continuous improvement.
- Mutually Reinforcing Activities: This involves maximizing the end result through coordinated collective efforts.
- Continuous Communication: This means building trusting relationships and maintaining regular dialogue between all parties.
- Backbone Organisation: This requires having a person or team driving and directing the work of the group.
By working with the people and organisations in the community to plan, deliver and validate programs, including the people and organisations that represent your target participants, sports deliverers can better achieve successful inclusion outcomes.
Find out more about Collective Impact in my blog post here.
We all have habits, right. Some good, some not so good.
Brushing your teeth, this is a good habit. It’s something we do every morning and every evening to take care of our dental hygiene. The mid-afternoon visit to the vending machine for your get-me-through-to-knock-off-time chocolate bar… perhaps not such a good habit. Going to the gym, kissing your partner goodnight before bed, checking the air pressure in your tires before a road trip, the 10:15 coffee, scrolling through your social media apps first thing in the morning, the Wednesday night bottle of Shiraz, these are all habits that serve us well or not so well in life.
But, have you ever stopped to think about how habits work?
Some time ago my good friend Peter Downs (Manager at Play by the Rules, Founder of The Inclusion Club and all round great guy) put me onto a book all about habits. It’s called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. In this book he explores the cause of habits and how we can break them and shape them. Watch Charles explaining how habits work in this youtube video. (Click the image or link below to watch)
What does this have to do with inclusion in sport?
Well, have you ever thought about how your habits influence the world around you? How your habits influence inclusion in sport?
There are many things we do day-to-day as individuals in our roles in sport and as organisations that either encourage inclusion or they don’t, these too are habits. Sometimes they are obvious and easy to identify but others are more subtle, more hidden. Some habits come out in our behaviours and attitudes while some are embedded deeply in rules and polices.
So, if we can identify what these inclusive or exclusive habits are, understand how and why they happen, then we can take steps to make changes that enables and promotes inclusion.
So, spend some time this week and identify any habits you or your club or organisation have that encourages or discourages inclusion. What are the cues, routines and rewards?
By the way, Peter Downs, who I mentioned earlier did some work around this idea-that habits can drive inclusion. In fact he found there are some common themes that contribute to inclusion outcomes, known as the 7 Pillars of Inclusion. But more on that next week.
You can learn how to identify your inclusion habits in my blog post here.
If you want to get hold of The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg just visit my resources page.
In the previous tip I talked about the power of habits and introduced you to the work of Charles Duhigg and his book The Power of Habit which you can get via my resources page. I also teased you on the work of Peter Downs and the 7 Pillars of Inclusion. This weeks tip will go a bit deeper on this idea.
Back in 2015/16 I worked very closely with Peter when he was creating the 7 Pillars of inclusion and together we embedded this into the National Inclusion Framework for Swimming Australia. Since then Netball Australia and the NRL have done the same and more sports are following suit. So this is a popular and well accepted model for addressing inclusion and the best thing is it can apply at all levels of sport, even down to clubs.
What are the 7 Pillars of inclusion?
The 7 Pillars of Inclusion is a broad framework that provides sport clubs or organisations a starting point to address inclusion and diversity. Each pillar represents the common aspects of inclusion–the things that are similar regardless of who we seek to involve in sport. Importantly the 7 Pillars focuses on habits, the things we do, that either enable inclusion or don’t. By identifying these habits, we can begin to make changes that enable and promote inclusion. In this way the 7 Pillars provide a starting point for achieving diversity and can be used to address the ‘how to’ of achieving inclusion.
The 7 Pillars explained
- ACCESS Access explores the importance of a welcoming environment and the habits that create it.
- ATTITUDE Attitude looks at how willing people are to embrace inclusion and diversity and to take meaningful action.
- CHOICE Choice is all about finding out what options people want and how they want to get involved.
- PARTNERSHIPS Partnerships looks at how individual and organisational relationships are formed and how effective they are.
- COMMUNICATION Communication examines the way we let people know about the options to get involved and the culture.
- POLICY Policy considers how an organisation commits to and takes responsibility for inclusion.
- OPPORTUNITIES Opportunity explores what options are available for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
To learn more and get related resources you can read my blog post here.
A good way to connect with and welcome people from different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds is to acknowledge important dates, holidays and celebrations.
Here are just some ideas on how you can celebrate these days:
- Send a message out on your club or organisation’s social media channels
- Email all your members to acknowledge the day and invite everyone to celebrate
- Host an event to cook and eat food typical of the particular culture or ethnic group being celebrated
- Invite people from the local community to join in a club open day or social event
- Invite people in the club or organisation from the cultural, ethnic or religious group being celebrated to share what they know about the special day and what it means to them
To find out what dates you could celebrate you can check out the Harmony Day website here https://www.harmony.gov.au/events/calendar/
Another great way to find out what you can celebrate is to simply ask your members and people in the community from diverse cultural backgrounds!
Also, you might want to think about celebrating your community’s cultural diversity on Harmony Day on the 21st March every year. Find out how your club or organisation can get involved here https://www.harmony.gov.au/get-involved/sporting/
Get on board and make it happen!
Gaining the commitment and confidence of those in leadership and decision making positions is vital to embedding inclusion in the core business of your sports club or organisation.
In a club setting this may mean getting the club committee on board while in a larger sports organisation it will mean getting the senior mangers, executives, CEO and directors onside. Gaining commitment from these decision makers means you are more likely to secure the financial and human resources to implement key activities that affect inclusion. If you don’t yet have this commitment, then you may need to look at strategies for convincing people of the benefits of inclusion.
How you can do this might include:
- Have a meeting with key decision makers to gain their support and commitment
- Provide examples of other organisations doing good things
- Get advice and support from your State or National Sports Organisation or government department for sport
- Provide information about the benefits of an Inclusion
So what can senior management do to support inclusion?
- Provide endorsement for the development and implementation of projects and activities
- Officially announce the commitment to inclusion and delegate roles and responsibilities to middle management, staff or volunteers
- taking overall ownership of inclusion outcomes and ensuring this is monitored and reported
Ultimately inclusion is the responsibility of everyone in the club or organisation and with strong commitment from people in leadership you will increase your chances of success.
December 3 each year is International Day of People with Disabilities.
Did you know about 1 billion people around the world live with a disability – that’s roughly 15% of our global population.
In 1981 the United Nations proclaimed this as a recognised day for the celebration of the achievements of people living with disabilities across the world. It is also a day when we promote awareness of the challenges faced by people living with disabilities, and the role communities and societies play in accelerating the eradication of barriers to social inclusion, equity, participation and citizenship. As you know sport is one of the best ways we can achieve this.
International Day for People with Disabilities is an opportunity of all people and organisations to show that they recognise the importance of the empowerment, participation, citizenship and social value of all people, including those living with disabilities.
How to get involved
It’s easy for your sport club or organisation can get involved!
To get started with ideas, head to the international IDPWD website here https://idpwd.org/pages/get-involved
There may also be a local agency promoting IDPWD where you can get more ideas and even register your celebration events.
- Australia – https://www.idpwd.com.au/get-involved/
- New Zealand – https://www.hrc.co.nz/idpd/
- United Kingdom – https://www.una.org.uk/get-involved/learn-and-teac…
I hope you get on board!
Now get out there and make inclusion happen!
Sometime it’s hard to get going on a new goal or initiative and inclusion in your club or sport organisation is no different. Building and maintaining momentum is key to sustained long term success.
This weeks tip is all about how you can build the momentum you need to make inclusion happen.
1. Chase the easy wins
To build momentum in the beginning focus on the actions and tasks that are easiest to implement. We call this the low hanging fruit. By getting some quick wins on the board you can begin to see the impact of your inclusion work.
2. Review and report
You will need to ensure regular reviews and reporting is conducted. This will help you monitor progress and ensure your key decision makers and stakeholders are aware of the success you are having. This also allows you the chance to decide if additional activities need to be done. This will ensure continued impact for the long term.
3. Reinforce responsibilities
Momentum is also maintained by reinforcing responsibilities for everyone with a role in making inclusion happen in your club or organisation. This will ensure no action item falls off the radar and keeps everyone on schedule and accountable. This also reinforces that inclusion is the responsibility of more than just one person!
4. Share your progress
Sharing your progress is another great way to keep momentum going. By telling your leaders, stakeholders and supports about your progress you are keeping your organisation accountable but importantly you will be able to share the successes you are having. This also allows people to know the work they are putting in is having an impact and will encourage them to continue investing time and effort into achieving success.
If you are just starting out with inclusion or you need a kick up the butt then go ahead and take action on these things to get the momentum going!
In November of 2018 I was contacted out of the blue by an incredible man by the name of Bjoern Eser.
Bjoern is a father of three, a husband, an outdoor enthusiast, a passionate development practitioner and a very active cancer-surviving above-the-knee amputee.
This is a photo of Bjoern on top of a mountain.
Bjoern is also the kind of person who loves to share not only his own knowledge and experience when it comes to creating inclusive sport and recreation opportunities but he also wants to share the knowledge and experience of other people as well.
So today’s tip is simply this…
Go and check out Bjoern’s website and blog called The Active Amputee at www.theactiveamputee.com
On the blog Bjoern shares stories about getting active with an amputation, shares information and resources, plus he publishes articles and stories from other experts and people with great things to share about inclusion in sport and recreation.
In his own words, “The Active Amputee is a resource page from amputees for amputees. It aims to inform, it aims to inspire and it aims to engage. Nothing more and nothing less. It‘s as simple as that.“
So if you are looking to engage people with disability (especially people with amputation or limb-loss) or you are a person with limb-loss then check out The Active Amputee.
Here’s the link again www.theactiveamputee.com
Accessibility is an essential aspect of creating a welcoming and inclusive place to play sport. So what comes to mind for you when you think about accessibility in a sport club setting? Take a minute to make a mental list… it’s OK I’ll wait…
So. What did you come up with? Were some of these on your list?
- Ramps and lifts for people using wheelchairs
- Doors and walkways wide enough for people using wheelchairs and mobility aids
- Specialised equipment like hoists at pools
- Disabled accessible change rooms
Did you think of anything else?
Did you think about all areas of the club facility?
Did you think about more than people with disability?
Did you think about more than the physical aspects of the environment?
Well either way here’s a few things to think about that may help make your club a little more accessible for more people.
Think about all areas of the club including:
- Outside the facility – how do people find and get to the club?
- The facility entrance – how do people get inside the club and how are they greeted?
- Public/Spectator areas – can everyone make use of these areas and is it safe and welcoming?
- The field of play – can everyone get to/from and make use of these areas and is it safe?
- Toilets and change rooms – can everyone make use of these areas and is it safe and clean?
Think about these often overlooked aspects:
- Do you have clear and readable signage?
- Do you offer information in multiple languages?
- Is there braille and other tactile indicators around the facility?
- Is there always someone at the receptions area or on site at the club during operation hours?
- Are all walkways free of hazards like equipment, pot plants or furniture? plus are all non-removable hazards clearly marked?
- Are all areas well and evenly lit at all times especially at night?
- Are staff comfortable and confident in dealing with people from a range of backgrounds and are they sensitive to other cultures and perspectives?
So take a walk around the club talk to your members and consider these questions. I’m sure you will find more than a few ways to make the club a little more accessible.
How do you connect with people from diverse groups who are not yet engaged in your sport activities?
An easy way is to find the local community organisations that support and serve them and build a partnership.
I’m going to point you in the right direction to connect with some of the specific groups of people you might be looking for. I’ll do this by providing a list of organisations that you can use as a start point for researching local organisations, providers and groups.
***NOTE: This tip is actually a combination of a series of 5 tips I delivered over the course of 5 weeks to the Inclusion Tips subscribers. So rather than repeat all 5 here I have combined them into a single (epic) post for your convenience.***