Disability Netball - Information for Netball Clubs

The following information has been put together for Netball Clubs to provide some background on the Equality Act 2010, some ideas about how your club can meet its obligations under the Act and contact details for further information.

Equality Act 2010

From 1st October 2010, the Equality Act replaced most of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). However, the Disability Equality Duty in the DDA continues to apply.  The Equality Act 2010 aims to protect disabled people and prevent disability discrimination.

In brief: The Equality Act provides rights for people not to be directly discriminated against or harassed because they have an association with a disabled person. This can apply to a carer or parent of a disabled person. In addition, people must not be directly discriminated against or harassed because they are wrongly perceived to be disabled.

The Equality Act 2010 gives disabled people important rights of access to everyday services. Service providers have an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to premises or to the way they provide a service. Sometimes it just takes minor changes to make a service accessible.  Access to services is not just about physical access, it is about making services easier to use for everybody.

What can Netball Clubs do to encourage disabled people to be included?

The Equality Act is not just about facilities, it is about changing the attitude towards and opportunities for, disabled people.

England Netball has produced modified rules that can be used with different groups. Our current focus is on working with players with learning disability.

There are a number of measures that clubs can take to ensure that they are working in the spirit of the Equality Act, these include:

  • Provide a welcoming environment: Having a positive and welcoming attitude is probably the most effective way to encourage disabled people into your club, think about what your club CAN do, rather than the barriers. 

For example:

  • Think about your signage, is it clear and well directed?
  • Does your club welcome all members of the community?
  • Is this reflected in information that is sent out to potential members?

Training

  • Offer disability awareness training to your coach, officials or a committee member to ensure you are as welcoming to disabled people as possible. See below for information on England Netball’s disability awareness training package.
  • Be aware of the Equality Act and its implications: see details below about where to get further information.

Talk to disabled people

  • Consult with groups and individuals about their needs and requirements - don't make assumptions.
  • Find out about local disability sports clubs or schools in your area and share your netball experience, knowledge and enthusiasm!
  • Contact your County Sports Partnership for details of disability sport contacts and organisations.

Adapt the rules

  • Many disabled people could enjoy a netball experience with a few slight adaptations to the standard rules.

Policy

  • Ensure your club's constitution reflects an inclusive approach, an equality statement will demonstrate your club's commitment to achieving this. Clubs involved in the CAPS programme will have access to a standard equality statement that can be adapted to meet your club's needs.
  • Does your club have an open policy on membership?
  • Ensure your club welcomes constructive feedback and has a mechanism for dealing with complaints.

Access to facilities

  • Talk to your facility provider i.e. school or local authority about the provisions that they have in place to meet the requirements of the Equality Act. This may include car parking facilities, toilet and changing facilities.

Main principles of the Act

  • Don't treat people less favourably than anyone else.
  • Take reasonable steps to make all aspects of your club accessible.

In Summary

  • It is good practice to include all members of the community in your club and an opportunity to introduce new members, potential administrators, officials and coaches. Inclusion demonstrates a positive public image to external partners and funding bodies and ensures that your club complies with the law.

A note on Reasonable Adjustments

Service providers have to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people in the way they deliver their services. This is so that a disabled person is not put at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled people in accessing the services.

Examples of reasonable adjustments could include:

  • installing an induction loop for people who are hearing impaired
  • providing disability awareness training for staff who have contact with the public
  • providing larger, well-defined signage for people with impaired vision
  • putting in a ramp at the entrance to a building which has steps

What is considered a reasonable adjustment for a large organisation, like a bank, may be different from a reasonable adjustment for a small local shop. It is about what is practical in the service provider’s individual situation and what resources the business may have. They will not be required to make adjustments that are not reasonable because they are unaffordable or impractical.

Training Opportunities

England Netball has a Netball Disability Awareness course with supporting written resource developed by the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. This covers theory and practical ideas for netball and is both thought provoking and useful, you will leave full of enthusiasm for working towards more inclusion in your club. Please contact the Safeguarding and Equality Manager for information and funding to enable you to access this course. 

Other workshops

  • Sportscoach UK (ScUK): How to Coach Disabled People in Sport
  • ScUK: Inclusive Coaching: Disability
  • ScUK:Equity in Your Coaching
  • Running Sport - A Club for All - Welcoming all members of the community

Useful Contacts:

Sport England
Website: sportengland.org

English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS)
The umbrella organisation which co-ordinates and develops sport for disabled people in England.
Website: efds.co.uk

Equality and Human Rights Commission
Independent body established to stop discrimination and promote equality of opportunity for disabled people.
Telephone: 08457 622 633
Website: equalityhumanrights.com

Text phone: 08457 622 644

Sports coach UK (ScUK)
The lead organisation for coach development and education.

Website: sportscoachuk.org

Running Sports
Sport England's club development programme, which offers a series of workshops aimed at club volunteers.

runningsports.org

Parasport
Use this website to list your inclusive netball opportunities.

parasport.org.uk