Making Extra-Curricular Activities Inclusive

Sports and Recreational Activities

“It is very hard when they don't have activities in the college I go to for someone in a wheelchair.”
- Student
College, Atlantic Canada

Recreational activities and sports are very popular among college and university students. It is important to include students with disabilities in these events.

Some questions you should consider are:

  • Can students with disabilities participate in sports and recreational activities?
  • Do disabled students have access to the location of sports/recreational events if they wish to watch an activity?
  • Have you thought about holding sports specifically designed for students with disabilities?

These questions should be considered when planning any sport or recreational activities. Some schools have purchased specialized equipment designed specifically for individuals with disabilities (for example, gym equipment for students in wheelchairs), which allows them to participate.

Other schools have implemented sports activities intended specifically for individuals with disabilities, such as wheelchair basketball or goalball. These activities can often bring a significant crowd of spectators, as they are unique and exciting.

The location of all sports events should be accessible for all students as well. Ramps, elevators, and accessible seating are some recommended changes that can be made so that all students can attend events. Accessible washrooms are also important. Large, easy to read signs and audibly announced scores can make attending an event easier for visually impaired students. A visual display of the score allows students with hearing impairments or deaf students to fully participate in the activity as well.

Practical Tips

  • When purchasing sports equipment, consider acquiring equipment that allows students with disabilities to use it
  • Consider having sports events specifically designed for students with disabilities (such as wheelchair basketball or goalball)
  • Ensure that any sports facility is accessible for all students, including ramps, elevators, accessible seating, washrooms, and audible and visual scores