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In August 2023, coinciding with the International Blind Sports Association World Games, we proudly presented the ‘Accessibility and Disability Support across the Leisure and Fitness Sector’ report. This comprehensive study highlights the challenges on the initial journey to activity and delves deep into the state of our nation’s leisure centres and their commitment to serving the needs of blind and partially sighted patrons.
The report identified specific actions that leisure and sports centres should implement to enhance accessibility across all areas of interaction, both digitally and in-person. As importantly, the reports offer solutions and proactive measures that can drive improvements.
We have created a helpful guide to help you improve how you manage enquiries from customers with visual impairment.
If your sport or leisure facility would like to receive free advice on making the journey to activity accessible, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8995 0880.
One of the greatest barriers to blind and partially sighted people participating in physical activity is confidence. Knowing that leisure centre staff, gym staff and coaches are suitably trained to understand their needs, helps increase confidence and makes visually impaired people more likely to choose that place to do their physical activity.
Partnering with our Sight Loss Councils, we provide interactive vision awareness training to a diverse range of venues, including sports centres, museums, libraries, and theatres. Organisations hear from blind and partially sighted people directly about challenges they face and the often-simple solutions, that can be made. At the end of our sessions, participants and organisations will have increased confidence in providing services to blind and partially sighted people and how they will be able to play their part in lessening the impact of sight loss.
Find out more about vision awareness training
To accompany the training, we have also created a leaflet ‘Ask. Don’t assume’ which gives an overview of sighted guiding.
You can read more detailed guidance on sighted guiding on RNIB’s website
Creating an accessible environment is crucial for boosting the self-confidence of people with visual impairments. Even small adjustments to facilities can make a huge difference, making it easier for people with visual impairments to access opportunities and lead active lives.
The best part is that these changes are often straightforward and inexpensive to put in place. They can also benefit facilities financially as more people with visual impairments choose them for their leisure activities. To help designers, building owners and operators meet their design and operational obligations, Sport England produced guidance on accessible sports facilities.
Together with UK Coaching, we have developed a valuable training resource specifically for gym and leisure operators. This toolkit is designed to support professionals in the leisure, sports and physical activity sectors to create more inclusive and welcoming facilities. In doing so, we provide people with visual impairments the chance to access opportunities for a healthier and more active life.
If you’re interested in making your sport or leisure facility more accessible and would like to receive free advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or call 020 8995 0880.
We advocate for change in the fitness industry by encouraging sports equipment manufacturers to incorporate tactile buttons, audio output, and colour contrast into their products.
To understand more about our work in this area, read our report on inclusive fitness equipment.
If you’re interested in making your equipment more accessible and would like to receive free advice, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8995 0880.
As part of this commitment, we have actively contributed to the development of the Curriculum Framework for Children and Young People with Vision Impairment (CFVI). This comprehensive framework is designed to support children and young people (CYP) with vision impairment (VI) aged from 0 to 25 in gaining access to an education that is both appropriate and equitable.
It ensures they are actively taught a range of independent learning, mobility, everyday living, and social communication skills. Currently, the availability of these learning resources and specialist teachers varies from region to region, resulting in many young people missing out on these essential opportunities.
For more detailed information on the CFVI, please visit the RNIB website.