There are many types of disabilities affecting a person’s movement, vision, hearing, thinking, memory, learning, communication, mental health, and social relationships. There are over 1.2 billion persons with disabilities in the world. They represent 15 percent of the global population, where 80 percent reside in middle and low-income countries.
Sedentary behavior that is often associated with disability leads to deconditioning and health risks. The problem is so specific that it is described as Disability-Associated Low Energy Expenditure Deconditioning Syndrome. Individuals with disabilities are 57 percent at risk of obesity than individuals without disabilities. Obesity is a significant risk factor for persons with disabilities with a 33 percent higher chance of developing chronic conditions, e.g., cardiovascular diseases, diabetes type II, stroke, some cancers, etc.
Aerobic physical activity helps reduce the impact of these chronic diseases. Further, engaging in different physical activities improves emotional & psychological health, cognitive health, bone density, motor skills, social skills, self-esteem, academic performance, and overall wellness, among other benefits.
To achieve inclusivity for people with disabilities in sport and physical activity:
- We work with Special Schools and learners with disabilities ensuring that they receive as much instruction on physical activity and physical education with their peers as possible;
- We provide quality and accessible physical education classes for learners with disabilities;
- We ensure that people with disabilities are involved at all stages of planning and implementing the physical activity programing;
- We ensure that environments and facilities are conducive to being physically active are available and accessible to people with disabilities in schools and communities.
- We work with physical education teachers to design meaningful and beneficial instruction for all learners with disabilities;
- We provide mentorship through health care providers to talk routinely to persons with disabilities about incorporating physical activity into their lives.