Being inclusive of deaf and disabled people is part of everyday working here at London Sport.
How we do this, and how we support others to do so in their own work, is outlined in our strategic plan of action An Active Inclusive Capital.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ structure, and we don’t have the universal solution or an never-ending budget to make this happen, nor should we attempt to.
The reality is that deaf and disabled people, through all life stages, are twice as likely to be inactive (42%) than their non-disabled peers (21%) according to Sport England’s Active Lives Survey.
The majority of young people who are deaf or disabled are educated in a mainstream setting, not in a special school environment, so why do we try and find a ‘box’ for us to link deaf and disabled young people together in an out of school environment for our own convenience?
This is where Satellite Clubs can come in, all young people have the right to choose their leisure pursuits, and style and location of sessions are as important as the activity or sport on offer.
When offering activity to young people, as Satellite Clubs do, we should not make any assumptions as to their likes and dislikes.
To back this up, research from Activity Alliance found that seven out of ten deaf and disabled people surveyed had a preference for integrated sessions rather than disability-specific ones.
This clearly indicates that we should be striving to make all provision as inclusive of deaf and disabled people as possible, and let the individual choose the activity which best suits them.
For some this will be a disability session, aimed solely at deaf and disabled people, and maybe even limited to a specific impairment group, for example a football session for young people with a learning disability, others simply want to go to a club with their mates regardless of ability or impairment.
Can you get London teenagers more active? 🙋
Then why not run an activity session for 30 weeks as one of our Satellite clubs?
You don’t have long left to apply. 🕗
— London Sport (@LondonSport) November 24, 2018
The important thing here is to use the philosophy of ‘change in order to include’, and this could be applicable to any under-represented group or less active community.
But we don’t expect Satellite Club organisers to be experts overnight, come and talk to the team at London Sport about your proposed projects, and how we can advise and support.
There are a number of training courses and guidance notes that can be used to develop the confidence of those delivering your sessions, and we have a whole host of partners who are already delivering inclusive projects, that are willing to share their story.