Physical activity and active living are keys to quality of life for Canadians. Community events provide a perfect opportunity to promote active living for everyone - including persons with a disability.
To help ensure this full participation, ask yourself the following: Do you . . .
- respect a person with a disability as an individual with equal rights to quality of life and independence?
- realize that the most common barriers to full participation are negative public attitudes?
- take the time to find out what a person's abilities or interests are without making false assumptions?
- ensure that your facility is physically accessible? Remember, providing access to changing rooms, washrooms and activity areas is as important as having a front entrance ramp.
- produce your communication and promotional materials in alternative formats, such as Braille, large print or audio file?
- realize that a person who is deaf or hard of hearing has a preferred way of communicating?
- offer your help? It may be welcomed. A person with a disability will tell you how best to assist, but don't insist or be offended if your offer is turned down.
- ensure that there are opportunities for persons with a disability to participate fully in events that include their friends, family and peers? For example, you can modify the rules so that everyone can take part.
- invite community members – including persons with a disability – to participate in planning your event?
If in doubt, ask. People with a disability will be more than willing to help you.
Remember, this is only a starting point. It's best to use common sense when you're thinking about other ways you can encourage persons with a disability to get involved.
(Fit for All is produced by the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability)