Please find attached details of a Disability Awareness Training Day at Colebridge on 25th February, 12.30 - 3.15 pm. These are somewhat different to anything circulated previously, the agenda having been shortened and modified to make it more relevant to what Colebridge can offer.
On the face of it, you may feel that this is of little or no interest to Colebridge members, but I urge you most sincerely to do your best to attend.
Although there is a lot of interest in our sport amongst people in our area with disabilities, there are very few places where they can play and even fewer where they can receive active help and coaching. As the largest club in our area, I feel that we should be willing to do something about this. In the long term, I hope that Colebridge will be able to welcome those with all types of disability, but until we are able to offer suitable toilet and changing facilities with wheelchair access, our help can only be to those who do not require such facilities.
We already have one member, Andrew Cooper, who is profoundly deaf, but whose lip reading skills enable him to communicate with his team mates and other members. Andrew is currently working with children at Braidwood School for the Deaf in Hodge Hill and it is our wish to support him and the young people there, as we would for the able bodied pupils of any other school within reach of Colebridge. It will be lot easier to assimilate deaf children or adults into our membership if we fully understand their needs. The Awareness Training Day will provide guidance on this and on other forms of disability which may handicap prospective members in the future. In the long term, doing this may help us to actually improve our toilet and changing facilities by opening more paths to grant aid. A successful event will also keep us at the top of the list of clubs who need financial help to develop their premises, as we so badly need to do.
Duncan Stewart, ETTA's recently appointed Regional Disability & Club Support Officer, has guaranteed that the event will be both informative and interesting, so please come and support it and show that Colebridge is first and foremost a caring club. As a good target, let us aim to have at least one representative of each club team. Our junior members should also consider attending, as the first deaf persons to attend future sessions at the Club are likely to be young people and may become fellow members of Colebridge Cadet and Junior teams.
The event is free and if you wish to come, you do not need to fill in any forms, just email me or contact me by telephone on 0121-4745121, but please do so as soon as possible,so we that we know how many we will have to cater for.
Disability Awareness Training Day Agenda
Saturday 25th Feb, Colebridge TT Club
12.30 pm Arrival, registration and coffee.
12.45 pm Welcome and introduction.
12.55 pm Working with disabled people – including definitions of disability
1.10 pm Organising sessions for deaf players – including health and safety, welcome, communication and coaching
1.40 pm Adaptations, classification and disabled competitions
1.55 pm Partnerships, support and promoting disabled table tennis, eg mencap / disability sport events / BTTAD
2.10 pm break
2.25 pm Practical session; top table/target games –
3.15 pm Conclusion