For people with disabilities, it is far more difficult to enjoy the same opportunities to participate in recreational activities, physical activity, or sports than people without disabilities, there is no doubting that. Although society is changing, individuals with disability still face attitudinal and physical obstacles every day.
Physical activity and sports are outstanding ways for change. Community leaders, coaches, and teachers are at the forefront fighting for the acceptance of individuals with differences, the Paralympics is a prime example of this. People with disabilities is also beginning to force the issue, by creating disability education programs and other disability awareness agendas, such as the recent Netflix movie, “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution”. These awareness agendas will attempt to speed up change and provide teachers, community leaders, clubs/associations and coaches with the training, resources, support, and education to assist them in breaking down barriers of participation facing people with disabilities in recreation, physical activity, and sports.
Disability education programs aims to: educate the providers of recreational services and facilities, about ways to incorporate and facilitate the participation of people with disabilities in regular programs. Provide practical strategies to assist with the development of innovative techniques allowing inclusion, promoting disability awareness and acceptance. Provide appropriate acknowledgement and accreditation for providers in the field and increase the enjoyment of recreation, sport, and physical activity for people with disabilities.
Disability education programs would operate through a network of State, City and County coordinators who administers state-funded programs. State coordinators would manage a network of regional coordinators and presenters in the organization and organizes delivery of local programs and courses.
Disability education programs would be a general recreation, physical activity, and sports awareness course aimed at community leaders, teachers, and sport/recreation club officials and volunteers. All courses of the program would be practical in nature with great importance on learning by doing, interaction with people with disabilities, appropriate methods of adapting and modifying regular sports and activities and avoiding potentially unsafe and dangerous practices.
The courses of the program would offer opportunities for providers, parents, community leaders and coaches to acquire greater perceptive of the needs of people with disabilities regarding recreational activities and gain knowledge in the development of pioneering techniques to assist inclusion.
There would be six courses in the disability education programs which includes:
Module 1 – Understanding Disability
Module 2-Count Me in
Module 3- Opening Doors for People with Disability
Module 4-Play by the Rules-The Disability Discrimination Act
Module 5-Getting Ready for School
Module 6- Coaching Considerations for People with Disability.