People with disability

Sport and recreation contributes to the health and wellbeing of all people and helps break down the barriers that once stopped people with disability from participating.

The department continues to educate and assist sporting organisations and clubs to make the changes needed to encourage people with disability to experience the same thrills and excitement of other members.

To ensure organisations can meet the needs of people with disability, their families and carers, the department provides funding and consultancy services to support the modification of programs so that everyone can participate.

Including people with disability in sport and recreation

Sport and recreation enables greater connections to community

Everyone has the right to be a part of an inclusive and welcoming community where their contribution is recognised and valued. People with disability should have equal opportunity to participate in a mainstream community club.

Participation in community sport or recreation provides an opportunity to develop physical skills and social connectedness. This can be a life-changing experience especially for those with limited social networks. For clubs, opening their doors to all people in the community helps break down stereotypes and build a stronger club culture. By welcoming everyone to participate clubs are likely to experience an increase in club membership and thus revenue, more volunteers and increased funding opportunities.

The inclusion spectrum

There are a variety of ways to participate in sport and recreation. The Inclusion Spectrum outlines five alternative modes and can be a useful tool to encourage clubs to focus on modifying activities to support inclusion. When modifying activities to support inclusion, clubs must be mindful to balance maximising individual potential and maintaining activity integrity.

Handy tips when working with people with disability

  • Don't make assumptions about a person’s abilities. If you’re not sure what someone can do just ask!
  • Speak and/or partner with service providers who work with people with disability
  • Think about putting in place an inclusion policy so inequity/discrimination can be addressed quickly
  • Provide safe, friendly and accessible environments
  • Mix physical and social activities
  • Allow participants to help plan programs
  • Build confidence by including non-competitive activities
  • Relax! People with disability are just people
  • Speak to adults with disability as adults
  • Ask before you help and respect a person’s right to refuse your help
  • Always speak directly to the person with disability. If the person is with a carer or interpreter do not direct your conversation to them.

Inclusive sport and recreation opportunities

The organisations below can provide more information about the inclusive sport and recreation opportunities in your community.

Local government

Contact your local government and ask to speak with their Community Development Officer about opportunities for people with disability in your local area.

State Sporting Associations

Many State Sporting Associations will be able to provide information about opportunities for people with disability to get involved in their respective sports. Contact the State Sporting Association directly.

Contact your State Sporting Association

Page reviewed 19 September 2022