A good coach adapt aspects of their coaching to ensure an inclusive environment, which caters for individual needs and allows everyone to participate and experience success in an activity.
Some clubs will already offer disability awareness training for coaches and recreation leaders in some form, which helps establish inclusivity. Sometimes, the needs will depend not only on the condition, but also on the nature of the sport or activity. Often, state peak bodies for a specific sport or activity will have information and advice on how to be more inclusive when it comes to supporting people living with a health condition or disability.
Never assume that all people living with epilepsy will have the same needs, aspirations and abilities – these should be established on a case-by-case basis. It may be necessary to establish a program with certain adjustments, based on how the person’s epilepsy affects their ability and performance.
In order to achieve this, it may be necessary to build additional understanding and skills. Epilepsy New Zealand has programmes that can be used in a range of settings, from schools to community organisations. This training can be undertaken by coaches and volunteers so that they can understand a person’s epilepsy and administer emergency medication where necessary and applicable. This should be organised in consultation with parents, guardians or carers where appropriate.
Sport NZ’s Disability Plan seeks to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport.
Balance is Better focusses on how to encourage participation at all levels and develop skill at the right pace.