Specialist Advisor for Disability Alex Gibbons gives London Sport's backing to Activity Alliance's Who Says? campaign which aims to gives positive evidence, resources and guidance to replace the misconceptions and presumptions on what is and isn’t possible.
When I tell people what I do for a living, the first thing they say is how wonderful the Paralympics was and what a positive impact the 2012 Games in London must have had for deaf and disabled people.
I could write a dozen blogs in response to that, but to save you trawling through my opinionated ramblings, let’s skip forward to seven years, and concentrate on Activity Alliance’s recently launched Who Says? campaign.
The six-week campaign, which commenced on the 15 July, is a response to findings from their Taking Part with Disabled People – Non-disabled People’s Perceptions report.
The findings showed that non-disabled people’s lack of understanding could be causing long-lasting barriers for deaf and disabled people, leading to inactivity.
So, in short, regardless of the positive impact the London Paralympics had on perceptions of deaf and disabled people, there’s still a long way to go.
Who Says? is a direct response to the issues cited by the report, providing positive evidence, resources and guidance to replace the negative ideas held by some.
London Sport is proud to support the campaign, and we hope you will too.
However, the reality is, if you’re reading this, the chances are you’re not one of the people who says deaf and disabled people shouldn’t be taking part alongside non-disabled people, or that having an impairment leads to insurmountable barriers to being active.
In fact, you’re probably one of London Sport’s many fantastic stakeholders working to change perceptions and develop policies and programmes that inspire and empower deaf and disabled Londoners to take part in physical activity and sport.
But despite some of the positive changes we’ve seen over the past few years, and the positive response to the launch of An Active Inclusive Capital – A Strategic Plan of Action for Disability almost two years ago, there’s much more we can do.
Campaigns such as Who Says? present an opportunity to take us a step further; to help dispel myths about barriers to deaf and disabled people’s participation and inaccurate assumptions that potentially adversely affect planning and delivery.
The campaign videos are a powerful tool that will help you champion this important message by challenging existing preconceptions, both within your organisation and beyond.
This is a chance to get people thinking about how deaf and disabled people can be more active, rather than focusing on reasons why they can’t.
By sharing the messages and contributing to the campaign, you can play a part in creating attitudinal change and impact on organisational culture.
Send the videos to colleagues, partners, networks, funders, and start a conversation about how disability inclusion can become part of everyone's thinking around policy, funding and promotion.
We want disability inclusion to be seen as an exciting and positive; embedded as part of everyday work, but with extraordinary impact.