Being physically active is an important part of life for many people, and this is true for disabled people, too. With an inclusive attitude and a willingness to think outside the box, there are many ways to make an activity accessible to more people. That could mean including them in activities you already run and adjusting things as necessary, or running an activity tailored towards disabled people with specific requirements.
Why do we undertake physical activity, whether that be going for a run, playing a team sport, or simply going for a walk? It makes us feel good! We get to exercise, boost our mental health and perhaps socialise with others. These are the same benefits disabled people experience when they take part in physical activities. Without physical activity disabled people miss out on these physical, mental and emotional benefits, but it can be harder to find things to do that work for you when you have specific requirements.
That’s why You’re Welcome is such a useful resource, because it lists lots of physical activities in one place and gives detailed information on how they are accessible to people with a wide range of specific requirements, from wheelchair access to BSL interpretation to dementia friendly and hidden disabilities awareness, and many more. As an activity provider, you can sign up to You’re Welcome for free and select these accessibility features when you create listings on You’re Welcome. This makes it easy for people to search for activities based on the requirements they need to have met in order to take part. Find out what all the accessibility features mean here. Both mainstream and specialist activities can be listed on You’re Welcome.
Listing your activities on You’re Welcome shows that you are proactively promoting yourselves as an inclusive provider of physical activities, giving people some reassurance that you welcome them and are willing to make reasonable adjustments where possible to meet their specific requirements. Many disabled people do far more research than non-disabled people do before going along to an activity, and need to be able to find the relevant information on accessibility. By providing this information on You’re Welcome you are making it easy for them to find out that what you offer could work for them. This will enable you to welcome more people to join you!
Not sure if you can provide any accessibility features? You may have more than you realise! If you have wheelchair access, a drop-off point or quiet space people can use, this may be all someone is looking for. Or you may be able to make some small adjustments that mean you can welcome more people. If you’re not sure, get in touch with the You’re Welcome team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk it through with you.
Once you have signed up to You’re Welcome, you can list both ‘events’ and ‘things to do’. A thing to do can be a venue that regularly provides activities or that people can visit (such as a gym or leisure centre); or something that occurs on a regular basis (a sports club, for instance.). An event could be a one-off activity or a regular club meeting, which you can easily duplicate on the website. You can also post and take part in conversations in our inclusive Facebook group, where you might want to add your input to what people are talking about or start a conversation of your own.
In addition, you can find lots of extra information and support in the ‘Get support’ section of our website, including information on best inclusive practice and where you can apply for grants if you need some extra funding to include a disabled person.
Visit You’re Welcome here: www.yourewelcomeglos.org