Sport disability discrimination

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was created to stop discrimination against disabled people whether at the work place, public space or venue.

Guidelines for clubs, groups and organisations

Clubs, groups, organisations etc must ensure that all their facilities, goods and services are accessible for customers, clients or members with a disability and if they are currently difficult to use, must be changed in accordance with DDA guidelines.

In sport these guidelines must be met to ensure that those with a disability have easy access to the club and the chance to succeed in the sport.

Who would be classed as a person with a disability?

The DDA's definition of a disabled person is someone who suffers from a mental or physical impairment, which hinders them substantially, with expected long-term effects upon their ability to carry out normal day-to-day actions.

To break this down further; the manner of the condition has to be categorised as major rather than minor or trivial, the impairment has to have lasted or is likely to last for at least 12 months to be classed as long-term and regular day-to-day activities include washing, eating, walking and shopping.

Sport clubs guidelines

A third part of the Act, which came in 2004, makes it illegal for sports clubs to treat people with a disability unfavourably due to their condition. Clubs must also provide adjustments to their services, and physical layout for people with disabilities, so they can enter the premise without difficulty.

Adjustments should be made in anticipation of a disabled member, rather than waiting until a member with a disability asks to join.

Inclusion

There are many clubs and societies who provide coaching, training and equipment for people with disabilities who would like to take up a sport and they can be found easily with an online search.

Having a disability should not hinder you in the support of your team or stop you from participating in sports yourself and with the Disability Discrimination Act you need never fear exclusion or rejection.