UK Deaf Sport, the recognised strategic lead for deaf sport across the UK, has today (Monday 16th November) launched DEAFinitely Inclusive. A new accreditation scheme and quality kite mark for sports clubs and leisure facilities to improve the provision of deaf sport across the country.
DEAFinitely Inclusive aims to increase the number of deaf people playing, coaching and volunteering in sport by working directly with local providers. The new scheme is open to sports clubs and leisure facilities, and will support them to be more deaf inclusive in their delivery of sporting opportunities.
According to Sport England’s Active people survey 9, 2015, sports participation is lowest amongst people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Only 10.1% of deaf adults take part in sport once a week, compared to 39.3% of non-disabled adults.
Organisations that take up the scheme will work with UK Deaf Sport to complete a set of criteria to address the barriers that deaf people may face when accessing opportunities at their club or facility. On completion of the scheme each organisation will be given accredited status as a DEAFinitely Inclusive club or facility, and be awarded the new quality kite mark.
Accredited sports clubs and leisure facilities can then use the DEAFinitely Inclusive kite mark to promote their activities and events to the local deaf community. UK Deaf Sport hopes that kite mark will act as a quality assurance mark for deaf people.
Director of Development at UK Deaf Sport, Lee Dolby said:
“The DEAFinitely Inclusive kite mark will enable deaf and hard of hearing people to be confident in accessing sport and physical activity. By looking for the logo they will know that clubs and facilities have taken positive steps to ensure that they are deaf aware.
“Sport should be for everyone; but if you are not sure whether you will be welcomed or included, it can be a scary place to enter. Our new kite mark will enable deaf people to feel more confident that any activity displaying the logo will be fun, friendly and DEAFinitely Inclusive.”
UK Deaf Sport has worked with National Governing Bodies of Sport and other partners to identify over 60 sports clubs and leisure facilities, who look set to be the first batch of organisations to be accredited as DEAFinitely Inclusive. Richmond Gymnastics Association in London is eager to be the first DEAFinitely Inclusive gymnastics club in the UK.
Jacqui Taylor, Head of Disabilities at Richmond Gymnastics Association said:
“We’re delighted to be working with UK Deaf Sport to improve our delivery of gymnastics activities and events for deaf and hard of hearing people. The accreditation will help us show our commitment to be deaf aware and create more accessible opportunities for everyone at our club.”
Talking about the benefits of being DEAFinitely Inclusive, Jill Osleger, National Disability Development Manager at the Tennis Foundation said:
“The support from UK Deaf Sport has been excellent. With greater knowledge and understanding about deaf awareness, we have been able to remove some of the participation barriers and increase the confidence of local venues and our workforce to deliver more opportunities for deaf people to have fun and get fit playing tennis.”
The DEAFinitely Inclusive accreditation scheme and quality kite mark is the latest addition to UK Deaf Sport’s community programme and is supported by Sport England’s Inclusive Sport Fund.
Since 2014, UK Deaf Sport has worked with over 200 local, regional and national organisations from the sport and disability sector to establish a number of regional DEAFinitely Inclusive networks. Each with the aim of improving the provision and access of sport and physical activity for deaf and hard of hearing people. UK Deaf Sport is now keen to see many of these organisations within the networks take up the accreditation scheme and become DEAFinitely Inclusive.
For more information about the DEAFinitely Inclusive accreditation scheme and quality kite mark, please visit www.deafinitelyinclusive.co.uk.
All enquiries from sports clubs and leisure facilities about the DEAFinitely Inclusive accreditation scheme should be directed to Clive Breedon, UK Deaf Sport National Participation Officer by email: [email protected] or by mobile: 07944 467980