DCN SE Hub News

October 22. Sports and Disability Inclusion

Participation in sports allows persons with disabilities to augment their physical and interpersonal skills, gain confidence, and inspire their communities by transforming attitudes and reducing stigmas. The integration and inclusion of athletes with intellectual disabilities into sports empowers the athlete, their teammates, and sports organizations at large.

Through the work of organizations such as the Special Olympics—one of the world’s premier organizations for athletes with disabilities, with over 3.7 million athletes worldwide and national associations active in nearly 200 countries—the number of athletes with intellectual abilities has drastically increased in recent years. Despite the upward trend of persons with intellectual disabilities involved in sports, the training of their coaches has not grown at the same rate. The lack of knowledge about the challenges faced by persons with intellectual disabilities, such as their schooling options, living accommodations, the type and quality of health care they receive, opportunities for gainful employment, and their ability to participate in a meaningful way in their communities and society as a whole is detrimental to the training and development of the athlete.

This webinar focuses on augmenting the understanding and professional skills of coaches, teachers, practitioners, and all other stakeholders involved in sports for social good through discussing programs that are successfully working to address the needs of athletes with intellectual disabilities and to challenge the myths and stereotypes surrounding their abilities.

The webinar speakers address:
• the training and coaching of persons with intellectual disabilities to build skills, teamwork, and communication
• tips for motivating athletes and providing a positive sports experience for all
• the importance of working with families and the community to maximize the effectiveness of sports in the context of disability
• how to challenge negative societal perceptions and practices surrounding athletes with intellectual disabilities.

  • Mouhamed Mounir | Education Specialist, Moroccan Association of Persons with Down’s Syndrome| Morocco
  • Charles Nyambe | President and Managing Director, Special Olympics International, Africa Region |
  • Namibia Iman Sabbagh | President, Adaptive Sport Center | Lebanon
  • Manisha Verma | Manager Research Training and Development, Skill Council for Persons with Disability | India
  • Dave Lenox | President & CEO, Special Olympics | USA

This webinar is part of World Learning’s International Sports Programming Initiative (ISPI) —Virtual Together program, a series of virtual events, launched in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. ISPI is a program of U.S. Department of State's Sports Diplomacy division. The series aims to engage the sports community globally, to creatively problem solve, share digital tools and work together, follow health guidance, and continue to promote active, healthy lifestyles both physically and mentally throughout this crisis. Additional modules related to these objectives are being developed and will be announced.

The webinar is produced by Digital Communication Network, a diverse professional coalition in the digital space.