Universal Design Guide for sport

In the ramp-up to the Brisbane 2032 Games, Paralympics Australia was fielding lots of calls from sporting organisations and venues. These organisations are keen to achieve higher standards of accessibility and inclusion. Paralympics Australia aims to increase access to sports opportunities, so it was time to devise a universal design guide to help.

The Universal Design Guide for creating inclusive sport in Australia is a valuable reference for sports representative bodies. It provides useful information for beginning the journey towards adopting inclusive practices.

Front cover of the universal design guide in Australian team colours - dark green background with yellow text.

It’s also good for many other organisations because the underpinning principles and processes are the same. There are good examples of this in the sections on practicing inclusivity and beginning the inclusion journey.

A diverse range of people working and competing in different sporting codes provided input to the guide. It addresses structural and attitudinal barriers to universal design and inclusion and comprises:

  • Definitions of accessibility, inclusivity and universal design
  • How to adopt an inclusive mindset and language
  • Motivating case studies
  • Focus activities for universal design
  • Practical guides for: hosting a universal design kick-off meeting, developing inclusive strategy, producing accessible documentation, and designing accessible inclusive digital experiences.
A female wheelchair basketball athlete holding the ball on the playing court.

The guide is very practical with case studies and examples of meeting agenda and social media posts. It concludes with a list of leading organisations and other resources. Download a copy in Word from the Paralympics Australia website.

The authors used every care to use language that is accurate, inclusive, empowering and non-stigmatising. The document will be refined and updated as Paralympics Australia builds its activities to make Australian sport accessible and inclusive. Feedback welcomed.

The International Paralympic Committee also has an Accessibility Guide produced in 2020. It has a wider range of topics that cover the whole event including accommodation and transportation.

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