New research released by Activity Alliance highlights a demand for greater training in delivering activities to disabled people. The report, commissioned with support from Sport England, indicates a need for more direct, practical guidance on adapting sports. The findings show that building the confidence and skills of those who deliver sports sessions can lead to more opportunities for disabled people to be active.
Key findings include:
- There are low levels of awareness and experience of delivering to disabled people among sports deliverers. Only one in four (23%) people surveyed via a national panel have knowingly delivered activity sessions to disabled people.
- A lack of experience leads to low levels of confidence and interest in delivering to disabled people. Three in five (60%) people with experience said they would feel confident in doing so, compared with a quarter (24%) of those without experience.
- Awareness of the term ‘inclusive activities’ is inconsistent and often does not include disabled people. Three in five (59%) of those without experience said they had run inclusive sessions, highlighting confusion around the term.
- More than half (52%) of sports deliverers who were not currently interested in delivering inclusive sessions said they would be much more interested if relevant training was available. They want both general information on the spectrum of impairments and practical guidance on adapting sports.
British Blind Sport welcomes this research, which has identified a number of important areas for organisations to act on to increase the number of sports deliverers who are confident and competent in providing meaningful opportunities for disabled people.
Logan Gray, British Blind Sport Partnerships Manager commented:
“British Blind Sport are working hard alongside our strategic partners to combat the issues raised in this research. We are striving to educate more activity deliverers and empower the workforce to offer positive, welcoming experiences to people with a visual impairment.”
To ensure that deliverers have readily available access to guidance around supporting people with a visual impairment, British Blind Sport have developed a comprehensive library of educational resources and research pieces across a range of sports including football, swimming, equestrian, archery and more. These resources offer practical solutions to providing inclusive activities for people living with a visual impairment and are free to download from the British Blind Sport website.
British Blind Sport also offer the award winning e-learning course, ‘Coaching People with a Visual Impairment’, created in partnership with UK Coaching. This interactive online course, launched in June 2018, raises awareness of the crucial role coaches play in helping people with visual impairments overcome additional barriers they may face when choosing whether to participate in sport and physical activity. Packed full of helpful tips, practical solutions and vibrant videos, the 6 modules within this course have been specifically designed to increase the knowledge, assurance and skills of coaches to confidently support people with a visual impairment within their sessions.
With a 5 star customer rating, Charlie, who completed the course said: “Very insightful and knowledgeable course that has helped me greatly to better understand blind and visually impaired sport participation and coaching!”