Sports and Awareness
Disability of a person usually means a physical or mental impairment that restricts his ability to participate in everyday activities that the society calls ‘normal’. Disability awareness as a skill refers to being mindful of the disabilities of people and managing to communicate and work with them effectively.
Therefore, it is not enough to realize that discriminating on the basis of disabilities is unlawful. As an employer or supervisor it is important that you have disability awareness yourself and that you also develop consciousness amongst your subordinates about differentiating good and poor practices when it comes to working with the disabled ones.
The largest barriers these disabled people encounter are other people because our societies have always been occupied with stereotypes and prejudice towards them. Pointing out, through disability awareness, such stereotypes and misconceptions about people with disabilities and then bringing about changes in behavior and attitude towards them is essential to enable all employees to work to their maximum potential.
Although participation in sport for individuals with a disability has increased over the years, the number of athletes participating, particularly in competitive sport continues to lag behind that of their able bodied counterparts. Almost any sport in which able-bodied athletes can participate in can be modified for participation by individuals with a disability including archery, athletics, basketball, cycling, bowling, canoeing, equestrian, fencing, golf, kayaking, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, skiing, ice hockey, swimming, table tennis, tennis, water skiing, power lifting and others. Competitive sport for people with a disability is found within Paralympics Sport structures, governed by the International Paralympics Committee and other International Sports Federations culminating in the Paralympics Games, a major international multi-sport event for athletes with a physical disability including athletes with physical impairments such as spinal cord injury, amputations, blindness, and cerebral palsy, visual impairments and intellectual impairments
Treat people with disabilities who participate in sport as athletes
Focus on what the athlete can do and has the potential to do. A lack of skill does not necessarily indicate the lack of potential ability
Teaching or coaching style, rules, equipment and the environment can all be adapted and modified to promote active participation from every person
Use the athlete as a resource of information on themselves, and ask them what they can do and how specific tasks may be modified to suit their skill level
Whether a disability is acquired from birth or later in life may have an impact on a person’s basic skill level.
Including people with a disability is simply good coaching
Disability Awareness and Sport Skills
Understand that not everyone’s the same.
The first step towards improving disability awareness as a skill, in oneself or in others, is acceptance of the fact that every individual is unique. A culture of inclusion must be developed by showing understanding and respect towards individual differences. This will ultimately evolve into a harmonious work environment desired by every organization.
Theses agents included;
- occupational therapist,
- therapeutic recreation therapist,
- social worker,
- family particularly parents,
- coaches, and
- peers who play sports.