Episode 38:

Disability Action Plans for Sport and Recreation Clubs (Part 1)—The Key Ingredients

Published: January 2013 Updated: Partners: Disability Action Plans can be very powerful for sport and recreation clubs. They are the blueprint for action on inclusion. In this first part of a two part series we look at the three key ingredients that make en effective Disability Action Plan.

Wise words indeed from Gordon B. Hinckley. Words that sport and recreation clubs need to take notice of when embarking on the process of planning for inclusion. Many organisations have good intentions to include people with disability, but few have effective plans to make it happen. Part of the reason for this is because ‘planning’ can be boring. It can be hard work. It certainly can be over-complicated. But it need not be this way. Here, the KISS principle is king. Keep It Simple, Stupid. KISS is an acronym for the design principle articulated by Kelly Johnson, Keep it simple, stupid! The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complex, therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. Perfect! The Inclusion Club—Episode38 Cover After many years of working with sport and recreation clubs—from national to local level—the most effective and practical plans are ones that are pretty simple. When the planning process gets difficult then the initial enthusiasm can very quickly wain. So on that basis we are now going to take a look at some of the fundamental concepts and ideas that underpin an effective Disability Action Plan for a sport or recreation club the key ingredients if you like! Take a look at the video below.

Now, you may think of some other key ingredients—as all contexts are different. But if you have these three key ingredients you’ll have a good start. What holds a lot of organisations back is determining what needs to be in a Disability Action Plan and how it should be presented. Fear not, in Part 2 we look at some model Disability Action Plans and run through a template that you can use as a starting point for your own Plan. That’s in Part 2. One final word for this episode. Never lose sight of the outcome. If you are the driver of a Plan then it’s reasonable to assume that not everyone in your organisation will have quite the same enthusiasm. If you see support for the Plan beginning to fade—if it’s taking too long—then a good strategy is to ‘get something going.’ Do something practical. Display the benefits of inclusion by doing some inclusive activity. Let people see what is possible and what the Plan can help make happen. It’s a magic pill! John Lennon knew all about this…

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

John Lennon

Don’t forget, in Part 2 on Disability Action Plans for Sport and Recreation Clubs we look at a ‘Template for Action.’ If you like this episode please make a comment below—particularly if you’ve had experience in developing Disability Action Plans in the past. And also share this episode with your friends and colleagues: Tweet about it, Facebook, etc. It helps spread the word! See you in Part 2. And if you are new here… ‘Welcome!’ and please subscribe to our updates. It’s worth it.


About the author: Peter Downs

About the author: Peter Downs

Founding Director - The Inclusion Club

Peter is Founding Director of The Inclusion Club and Manager of Play by the Rules – a national initiative to promote safe, fair and inclusive sport. Peter has worked for over 25 years in the field of inclusive sport, disability sport and physical activity including 17 years managing the Australian Sports Commission’s Disability Sport Unit.  In 2013 Peter was fortunate enough to receive a Churchill Fellowship to study models of best practice in inclusive sport and physical activity.