Disability inclusion in your Club

World Games. The Australian Sotfball Team are in good spirits despite today's loss and are looking forward to tomorrow's matches. Photo: Peter Muhlbock.

World Games. Credit Peter Muhlbock.

Welcoming and inclusive softball clubs are those that ensure everyone – participants, coaches, officials, administrators, spectators or any other person involved in, or visiting the club – is made to feel welcome, included, and valued.

Being seen as a welcoming and inclusive club within the community promotes your club in a positive light and makes it more appealing to potential participants, volunteers, sponsors and other supporters.

  • Clubs forget that people with a disability are a viable market sector for participation and most importantly membership

In the 2013 Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) 1 in 5 people in Australia (4.2 million or 18.5%) had a reported disability. This rate was much the same for males (18%) and females (19%)

  • Don’t ever underestimate the skills of people with a disability – their skills and abilities vary as much as able – bodied participants
  • People with a disability have family and friends who can play a valuable role in your club as well
  • Clubs do not need to have any special disability specific knowledge or be experts in the disability area. You need expertise in softball, a positive attitude and a welcoming and inclusive environment
  • Softball Clubs have a legal and moral obligation (Disability Discrimination Act 1992) to include people with a disability, but most of all, it just makes good sense. If you require more information regarding this area you can visit the Australian Human Rights Commission of the Play by the Rules website