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By Activity Alliance | 17 April 2024 | TAGS: Activity Alliance

Today we release our manifesto for change - Fight for fairness: Disabled people’s right to sport and physical activity. It’s developed with contributions and insight from disabled people, advocates and organisations in the sport, physical activity, and voluntary sector. This includes consultation with the National Disability Sports Organisations and other disability partners.

There are 16 million disabled people in the UK. Yet, disabled people face many barriers that can make it more challenging to access and take part in meaningful sport and physical activity. With disabled people twice as likely to be inactive as their non-disabled peers, our manifesto for change highlights ways to close that fairness gap.

It is not fair that disabled people continue to miss out on the physical, social, and health and wellbeing benefits of being active.

The General Election, expected later this year, provides a crucial opportunity to ensure actions is taken to tackle the fairness gap. That is why we today, we’ve launched our top asks for the next government and are writing to parliamentary candidates.

We all deserve the right to move, play sport or be physically active however we choose to be. Nobody must feel excluded or forgotten as we strive for a happier, healthier, more active nation.

To ensure disabled people have equal access to sport and physical activity, we call upon the next government to:

1. Protect the benefits

Provide clearer understanding and wider safeguarding to reassure disabled people that being regularly active will not threaten their benefits and other forms of government financial assistance.

2. Equip health and care workers

With NHS, ensure that better processes are in place for health and care workers to support disabled people to use physical activity in ways which work best for them.

3. Increase accessible outdoor spaces

Take a leading role in promoting and legislating design standards that ensure accessibility in local and national spaces.

Sarah Brown-Fraser, Head of Communications and Policy at Activity Alliance said:

“Whoever leads the next government has an opportunity to significantly improve the opportunities that disabled people have in sport and physical activity. They need to realise the potential and understand the power inclusive sport and physical activity can bring to this country. The inactivity crisis and deep-rooted inequalities for disabled people cannot be fixed by sport decision makers alone. It needs government commitment and leadership, across education, health, employment, and transport.

“These should be non-negotiable for any future government that wants to create a truly inclusive country. For too long barriers have prevented disabled people being as active as they want to be. Now is the time to change that.”

By committing to our asks, the next government will make huge strides in creating a fairer country. Policymakers should champion disabled people’s rights to sport and physical activity, and our manifesto is backed by robust evidence and insight to campaign from.

You can read the full manifesto on Activity Alliance’s website

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