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Disability Insight Conference shines light on barriers to physical activity

Posted: Mon, 25 Mar 2019 16:25

Disability Insight Conference shines light on barriers to physical activity

On Wednesday 20 March we were proud to host a Disability Insight Conference at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham. The primary aim of the event was to provide a networking opportunity for delegates that involved discussion around opportunities for people with limiting illnesses and long-term conditions. The conference focused on providing an opportunity to develop understanding and share experiences of working with disabled people and barriers which may exist.

The event reached full capacity with representatives from a diverse range of organisations attending and sharing their experiences including local councils; charities, sport facilities and fitness coaches.

Organisations were highly engaged with the activities provided on the day and eager to share their experiences. The main topics of discussion included accessible facilities, delivering inclusive community projects, and how to support people with mental health conditions to be more active.

Laura Spowage (Public Health England) opened the conference by setting the scene and providing background information about current physical activity levels and the health benefits that it brings to individuals. She also explored determinants of health and looked at what factors can increase the likeliness of physical inactivity amongst disabled people.

Sarah Eyley (Activity Alliance) then led a presentation focusing on creating accessible facilities and how this can be achieved through engaging with the community. There was an emphasis on explaining that a facility is not just the bricks and mortar of a building or structure, it's looking further at how facilities are accessed and what can be done to improve accessibility for a range of disabilities.

Active Derbyshire and Active Notts then facilitated group discussions around accessibility and delegates explained their past experiences. Considerations to become more inclusive included education around 'hidden disabilities', workforce training and thinking differently about accessibility- being brave about change was highlighted several times and the need to not associate making places more accessible with high financial costs.

In the afternoon delegates were then invited to join one of two workshops that focused on either mental health and activity (delivered by Nottinghamshire's local MIND) or how to create opportunities for people with limiting illnesses and long-term conditions (delivered by Nottingham City's disability project GOGA).

The event concluded with optional funding clinics delivered by Active Derbyshire and Active Notts for those who wished to find out more about funding available and how to progress any plans they may have.

Rachael Dyer, Strategic Lead for Active Derbyshire and Active Notts, comments on the event:

"Overall the event was successful in creating conversation and facilitating various discussions. Going forward we will be exploring doing similar events to continue to raise awareness and provide organisations with the insights they need to champion disability inclusion. We'd also like to thank all of those involved for contributing their time and experiences."

For organisations interested in funding opportunities we also have a dedicated newsletter you can sign up to: https://www.activenotts.org.uk/get-funding

Tags: Active Derbyshire, Active Notts, disability, news