With over 1 million Victorians living with a reported disability there is clear opportunity to increase the number of people with disability active in the sports industry as leaders, employees and volunteers.
Many people with disability already operate as effective leaders in sport settings. The opportunity available is to understand the benefits to your organisation, which include:
- A better understanding of your target audience because leaders have a lived experience which relates to the community.
- More effective communications because leaders with disability will understand how people with similar disabilities want to communicate.
- An understanding of the abilities of potential participants which helps you build on the existing strengths of your local community as you create unique participation opportunities.
Case Study – Molly Urquhart-Moran
Molly is a leader in both performance and administration. She has played for the Pearls – the national Basketball team for females with an intellectual disability – and worked at Basketball Victoria as a Disability Inclusion Assistant. Read more about her story here.
Case study – Maurice Gleeson
Maurice Gleeson OAM is the President of Blind Sports Victoria. For over 20 years his strong and passionate leadership has enabled greater participation in sport and recreation by people who are blind or have a vision impairment. Read more about his story here.
It is important to provide all applicants for paid or volunteer roles with equal opportunities in gaining employment, promotion, training and development.
Key areas to address when recruiting and retaining people with disability include:
- Position descriptions and essential requirements of the job.
- Advertising vacancies.
- The interview.
- The job offer.
- Reasonable adjustment.
- Staff training and development.
- Career planning.
- National Disability Services – Disability Employment
- Leadership Victoria – Disability Leadership Program
For more information on how to approach these steps, read the Office for Disability resource Inclusive Recruitment and Retention Practices (upload PDF resource ‘Inclusive Recruitment and Retention Practices’). If you would like to learn more about your responsibilities as an employer under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, including examples of discrimination in employment, click here to visit the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
Dylan Alcott is an elite tennis player and basketballer and is a Paralympian in both sports. He has become prominent in mainstream media. During this Tedx Talk he speaks about his experience growing up with disability.
Carol Cooke is a prominent cyclist who lives with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Hear more about her story in this podcast: