Disabled Athletes & Sport Opportunities

"Why do athletes with disabilities have less access to sport opportunities?"

Obstacles and Opportunities in the Provision of Sport for Disabled People

This videos is an abstract about my inquiry question, it will help you gather background information about the topic before we get into detail

Introduction:

From the point of view of a person with disability, disability often emerges as "a sudden breaking point in the biography of an individual that causes the collapse of the view of the world as ordinary and self-evident, the loss of social roles and the process of re-socialization that requires significant efforts, accompanied by a reconstruction of individual and social identity and an attempt to rearrange elements of subjective reality"

Inclusion of disabled athletes in sports

When efforts are not made to ensure that sport participation is inclusive, sport remains simply another area where discriminatory attitudes and practices toward persons with disabilities are perpetuated. Even when the decision is made to make sport more accessible and inclusive, without basic steps to foster understanding, knowledge and communication about how to adapt sports appropriately, intolerance can be exacerbated and divisiveness can ensue. With appropriate communication, knowledge and skill, sport can be a powerful tool for transforming community attitudes and empowering individuals through the acquisition of new physical and social skills, self-confidence and positive relationships

Through sport, persons with disabilities learn vital social interaction skills, develop independence, and become empowered to lead and make change happen. In the words of one participant:

“It was amazing when I came to know the thrilling sport of blind soccer since I couldn’t imagine that I could play soccer exactly the same as my sighted friends…By playing blind soccer, I experience a series of challenges, recreation for my daily life, and wonderful comrades. In mastering new techniques and challenges each game through teamwork, I feel a sense of mastery, which makes me confident and proud. I believe sports encourage the spirit of challenge and self-reliance, both of which are essential for our lives.”

What people did to help the lives of disabled athletes improve

The power of sport as a means to improve the lives of persons with disabilities is reflected in a range of international agreements, strategies and instruments.

In 1978, UNESCO identified the value of sport for persons with disabilities in its International Charter of Physical Education and Sport. The Charter called on countries to make special opportunities available “to develop persons with disabilities’ personalities to the fullest through physical education and sport programs suited to their requirements.”

In 1982, the United Nations developed the World Programme of Action, a global strategy to enhance disability prevention, rehabilitation and equalization of opportunities. This stated that member delegations should “encourage all forms of sports activities of disabled persons, among other things, through the provision of adequate facilities and the proper organization of these activities.” the United Nations adopted The Standard Rules for the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, which also addressed the right to sport for persons with disabilities.

The Decade of the Americas built on the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against people with Disabilities, which was adopted in 1999 and entered into force in 2001.

What we can do to raise awareness about this problem

“When I was on the athletic fields, I felt normal for the first time in my life. I could do what everyone else could do. I didn’t have to worry about struggling to communicate. I just played. My teammates respected me for my playing skills and began to make efforts to include me.”

To make athletes feel that included, confident and satisfied  with whats surrounding them and making them feel like they belong to participate and play what they like we have to show them support and make them feel included in almost everything they want, provide them with the equipment and coaches they need.

In many countries its a part of their curriculum to have a PE class where they include disabled people with them to participate

Another way is to study about the issue and raise awareness through including a unit in school systems so students grow up learning about this issue

there are many organizations and research foundations working on this issue and collecting donations to help the disabled and help people be more aware about this issue

this is a  link is one of the organizations: http://www.specialolympics.org/changingattitudes.a...

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Citations

  • Stone, D. H. (2005). THE GAME OF PLEASANT DIVERSION: CAN WE LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR THE DISABLED ATHLETE AND MAINTAIN THE NATIONAL PASTIME, IN THE AFTERMATH OF PGA TOUR, INC. V. MARTIN: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF THE DISABLED ATHLETE. St. John's Law Review, 79(2), 377.
  • Fitzgerald, H. (2012). Paralympic Athletes and “Knowing Disability”. International Journal Of Disability, Development & Education, 59(3), 243-255. doi:10.1080/1034912X.2012.697721
  • French, D., & Hainsworth, J. (2001). 'There aren't any buses and the swimming pool is always cold!': obstacles and opportunities in the provision of sport for disabled people. Managing Leisure, 6(1), 35. doi:10.1080/13606710010026359
  • Tindall, D. (2013). Creating disability awareness through sport: exploring the participation, attitudes and perceptions of post-primary female students in Ireland. Irish Educational Studies, 32(4), 457-475. doi:10.1080/03323315.2013.859339

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