By engaging with over 800 people with disabilities on a weekly basis, it is apparent that there are underlying issues within Burnley and its surrounding areas in terms of inclusion in sport and wider activities.
To ensure that the next generation of people with disabilities do not endure the same barriers and challenges, the Disability Sport Project has designed a Disability Awareness programme that educates primary and secondary schoolchildren on the topic of disability and how to be inclusive in sport.
The programme, which is currently free of charge, is split between theoretical workshops and practical sessions which involve pupils in playing sports in order to understand some of the challenges people with certain impairments face. The programme is five weeks in total, however, this can be adapted to suit the needs of each school:
Week 1 – Introduction to Disability
Week 2 – Impairment Varieties
Week 3 – Barriers to Participation
Week 4 – Inclusion in Sport
Week 5 – Programme Review
Here’s a quick snapshot of the programme’s impact after it was rolled out across three schools in the Burnley area…
Before the sessions, we found that 26 out of 30 pupils (around 87%) couldn’t recognise barriers in relation to people with disabilities participating in sport.
However, after the sessions were completed we found that 23 out of 30 (around 77%) could now recognise such barriers, meaning there was approximately a 64% increase thanks to the Disability Awareness programme.