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Visually impaired male archer

UK Coaching launches free toolkit to help sports providers create more accessible facilities for VI people

February 12th 2022
Vicky Sartain

UK Coaching’s toolkit, 'Inclusive Facilities: Supporting People with a Visual Impairment', was created in partnership with Thomas Pocklington Trust, a charity that supports blind and partially-sighted people with becoming more independent.

The toolkit contains videos and resources that leisure operators can use to train staff, and as a result, provide better experiences for visually impaired (VI) people.

Kelly Rodrigues, UK Coaching, said: “Small adjustments can make a huge difference for people with a visual impairment to access leisure facilities and sports, and become more active. These can be as simple as a member of staff approaching a visually impaired person and introducing themselves.

“We are asking sports and leisure facilities to encourage all their staff – from the front desk to their personal trainers – to get engaged with this training programme and make sport accessible in their venues.”

Martin Symcox, Sports Development Lead at Thomas Pocklington Trust, said: “One of the greatest barriers to blind and partially sighted people participating in sport is confidence. We know disabled people are twice as likely to be inactive*, compared to non-disabled people. Knowing that a leisure or sport provider understands their needs helps increase confidence and makes visually impaired people more likely to choose that place to do exercise.

“The changes to the environment and procedures are often simple and inexpensive to implement. They could actually be of financial benefit as more visually impaired people choose that facility to spend their money.  We will be looking for examples of good practise across the country and will be sharing these with the sight loss community. We urge operators to take a look at the toolkit and train their teams.”

* Sport England: Active Lives Survey 2021

Access the toolkit

The UK Coaching toolkit is a free resource open to all leisure providers and contains:

  • What is a visual impairment?
  • What makes an accessible environment?
  • Guiding and communicating
  • The benefits of an accessible environment

Please support people with a visual impairment: click here to access the free toolkit

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