UKDS Statement – Return to Play

Across the Sport and Physical Activity Sector plans and preparations continue to be made as restrictions are lifted further. UK Deaf Sport remains committed to supporting and working together with volunteers, coaches and officials involved in leading and delivering deaf sports and physical activities.

We want to make sure that with the plans and preparations being made by Sports and other organisations leading sport and physical activity activities, the information and support needs of deaf people are not forgotten.

We want to make sure that guidance being provided by Sports and other organisations leading sport and physical activity activities is accessible and inclusive.

At the end of July we showed our commitment alongside our other national disability sport organisation partners in an open letter, led by Activity Alliance, urging sport and leisure decision makers to put deaf and disabled people’s inclusion at the heart of plans and preparations. UKDS are following up with the recipients of the letter to continue to support and strengthen the message with these key personnel.

We recognise that sport and leisure providers are going through challenging times financially. One of our biggest fears is that providers will cut their inclusion work. Losing the key staff who have been central to ensuring inclusive practice would have a devastating impact on disabled people’s participation.

During these times we are taking the following actions:

  • Continuing to work alongside the Activity Alliance, Sport England and our colleagues at the National Disability Sport Partnership to raise awareness of the needs of Deaf and Disabled people
  • Continue to work with National Governing Bodies and other organisations to ensure that their guidance and information on ‘return to play’ is fully accessible including the inclusion of information translated into BSL.
  • Create and share our own guidance including useful links and best practice guidelines for our volunteers and coaches supporting deaf sports and physical activities
  • Continue to listen to the concerns and challenges faced by our volunteers and coaches leading on deaf sports and physical activity and provide the appropriate support and guidance. This could include meetings and training.
  • Continue to listen and provide solutions to the concerns raised by the deaf community during these challenging and uncertain times. This may include signposting to other organisations.

We will regularly update our website and share information with partners and key contacts on resources available. If you have any questions about this or the work, we are doing around this, please contact us at [email protected].

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