Inclusive access to South Australian sporting clubs for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities

Ms Claire Robertson1, Dr Fiona Rillotta1, Dr Kerrie Lante1

1Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Background:
There are many psychological and physical benefits to being part of a sporting community and participating in sport (Choi et al., 2013; Kaleth & Mikesky, 2013; Di Palma et al., 2016). Although if sporting clubs are not physically inclusive, this could limit the participation of individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities within these clubs. Physical barriers to sporting clubs include stairs, information presentation, and lack of ramp access (Mestayer et al., 2013). However, there is limited evidence regarding systematic ways to assess barriers that may limit accessibility to sporting clubs for individuals with intellectual disabilities. This study aimed to examine the physical access of South Australian sporting clubs for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Method:
A mixed methods design was used. An audit tool was developed and piloted with two sporting clubs. The audit tool focused on external access, internal access, bathroom access and access to pool areas (where applicable). A further three clubs participated in the study, giving a total of 5 sporting clubs whose results were analysed.

Results:
Results identified as relevant to individuals with intellectual disabilities will be discussed. For example, sporting clubs use of easy read signage throughout the facilities and the limited number of accessible fire safety systems installed across sporting clubs.

Implications:
More resources such as communication guides, and audit tools (observing areas such as policy, communication and information access) would assist South Australian Sports clubs to be more inclusive of individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities.


Biography:

Claire Robertson graduated as a Developmental Educator from Flinders University in 2018.  Claire has a passion for sports and disability and completed her Honours project in inclusion to South Australian sporting clubs for individuals with disabilities. Claire currently works for Access4U as a Support Coordinator/Developmental Educator.