With the support of the ACT Government under the 2018 Disability Inclusion Grants program Ginninderra Athletics Club will make our programs more inclusive for children of all abilities.
The impact of the Disability Inclusion Grants will be spread across community and impact on the inclusion of all people with disability including through employment, recreation, sporting pursuits and participation in community groups.
Families with additional needs are often excluded from mainstream sports and sporting clubs. This is often due to a lack of organisational capacity to support those with disabilities, and a resultant culture of exclusive (rather than inclusive) practice. The alternative, modified ‘disability-specific’ activities, often bear little resemblance to mainstream sports and rely on intensive and ongoing resourcing. Such programs often serve to further isolate people with disabilities from their communities and peers.
Ginninderra will provide a mainstream pathway for families with additional needs to engage in local athletics, and their community more broadly, in meaningful ways. This funding allows for the development and piloting of an appropriate model, which will then be available to other athletics clubs locally, to Little Athletics ACT and Little Athletics Australia.
Through the grant Ginninderra will build capacity within the athletics club to ensure the meaningful inclusion of children and families with additional-needs, in an existing community-based Athletics club, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all inherently separatist ‘disability program’.
To facilitate this inclusion, the project will include three key elements:
- A redesign of the existing clubs athletics programs;
- The development of equipment, resources and training materials to support the club to provide accessible and inclusive programs; and
- The appointment of an Inclusion-Support Officer to facilitate and support inclusive practice.
Ginninderra aims to improve appropriateness and inclusivity ensuring the programs are accessible for children of all abilities. This will also include the acquisition of appropriate resources to support any necessary modifications of service provision.
The development of a suite of resources (including physical resources and practical training for coaching staff) to promote inclusivity for children with additional-needs and their families:
- Delivering inclusive services (how to adapt, scaffold and modify activities and physical space);
- Understanding inclusion (information around disability and inclusion; practical tips and strategies to support children with additional needs); and
- Supporting others to be inclusive (how to build an inclusive culture; peer support and mentoring; parental engagement).
The appointment of an Inclusion-Support Officer will support the design and development of the above mentioned initiatives and lead a cultural change of inclusion within the athletics club. The Inclusion- Support Officer will work with families, children and coaches to facilitate and support inclusive practice, and to build partnerships between these stakeholders.
Ginninderra Athletics has a proven track record in the support and enhancement of inclusion within the local community. The Disability Inclusion Grant will help the club and athletics generally to become more accessible.
For more information about Ginninderra Athletics or to join read the following articles.