This treatment might take the form of:
It’s no fun being the butt of crude remarks and put downs about one’s abilities. It’s no fun being judged as inferior, or a lesser human being by others who find it difficult to accept that a person with a disability is no different from them in terms of their aspirations, desire for respect and equal treatment.
Discrimination towards people with disabilities is a surefire way to undermine social cohesion in your club and miss out on the contributions of talented people.
A club aspiring to be a place of respect, safety, fun, fairness and success is one where everyone works side by side, respectfully, with others in and around the club. Disability discrimination is called out and dealt with constructively.
First, check yourself. Be prepared to subject your own attitudes and behaviours to scrutiny:
How well do you think you interact with people with disabilities?
Do you speak differently to a person with a disability?
Do you automatically assume you can inquire about the cause and impacts of a person’s disability?
Do you think beyond ramps?
Be alert to behaviours of those around you, such as when a club says kids with disabilities require too much effort.
Listen closely to people with disabilities so that you hear directly what supports around the club would make a positive difference for them.
Have conversations with those around you to boost and normalise disability awareness in your circles.
Create a safe space where people can talk openly and ask what they feel might be ‘stupid questions’.
Create a welcoming community for people of all abilities at your club. At a club level:
We know that it can be difficult and sometimes dangerous to call out any discrimination. We know that this is why people sometimes choose to turn a blind eye and remain uneasily silent.
But ableism and its destructive impacts, will continue in and around your club, unless it is called out by you and others.
Club Respect has created SMART steps to help you.