In February 2020, Abilities Centre partnered with International Mixed Ability Sports (IMAS) to become the exclusive developers and delivery agents for Mixed Ability Sport in Canada.
Mixed Ability Sport provides a foundation for everyone to actively participate together, and to share in the benefits that sport brings.
Abilities Centre is currently collaborating with Provincial and National Sport Organizations, local community clubs, and grassroots sport coaches to provide quality education that is co-developed and co-facilitated by individuals with lived experience. Through this education and training, we are taking a person-centered approach to breaking down barriers to mainstream sport participation, and enhance existing program and team offerings to building a safe, inclusive and accessible sport environment that supports engagement and participation for all throughout the lifespan.
“The Mixed Ability Model embraces human diversity and gives real opportunities, for people of all abilities who are facing a wide range of barriers, to participate and work together whilst empowering themselves”
This is achieved when individuals have a choice over where, when, and how they participate, and being able to access
“training in a mainstream club, being equal members, striving to reach personal goals, and challenging stereotypes around the orthodoxy of sports and the tradition of separating [people with disabilities]” in segregated setting.
-Corazza, Co-director IMAS, 2019
Mixed Ability does not mean Mixed ‘disabilities’. The Mixed Ability model focuses on creating a safe, supportive and welcoming space for all individuals in the community, respecting and valuing the diverse backgrounds and intersecting identities that make up the fabric of our communities. Using a universal design approach within various sport environments, Mixed Ability Sport allows for full inclusion not only for individuals with disabilities, but also those returning to sport, those who are new to sport, and any individual in our communities as equal, valued members of the club.
In this way, Mixed Ability Sport differs significantly from other approaches that promote separate or adapted offerings for participation. The model emphasizes the need for regular, and sustainable team offerings on mainstream sport teams through practice, competitions, and social engagement for individuals of any background or ability without classification, divisions, or labels. Players with and without disabilities play together on the same team.
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