Inclusion Summit discusses key aspects of Sport for All


The Inclusion Summit, powered by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Sports Academy, with support from the International Disability Alliance, began on an optimistic note.

In his opening remarks, Andrew Parsons, President of the IPC, explained: “Usually Inclusion Summits are held alongside the Paralympic Games. However, due to the challenges around 2020 and issues related to the pandemic, we have decided that this year’s event should be virtual and instead coincide with tomorrow’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities. As for the list of speakers, I think this edition of the Inclusion Summit is the strongest yet. »

Dwelling on this year’s theme – “Building Back Better: Sport as a Tool to Put People with Disabilities at the Center of the Inclusion Agenda”, he underlined, “In my view, the IPC is well square. Through sport, we can play an important role in driving social change and creating a better, fairer and more inclusive world, especially at a time when people with disabilities have been disproportionately impacted and affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

IPC President Andrews Parsons delivering the welcome address on day one of the 2021 Inclusion Summit.

“The number of IPC member organizations has grown to over 200. Today, the Games are considered the third largest sporting event in the world, with only the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup attracting more of spectators. The final Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games were a tremendous showcase of exceptional sport and play, highlighting the impact sport can have on transforming society,” he added.

“A recent key survey of people with disabilities revealed that 70% of respondents felt that the Games had had a positive impact on society’s understanding of disability. With the Paralympic Games and the Paralympic Movement reaching a certain level of maturity, we now have a platform from which to build in our quest to realize our vision of creating a more inclusive world through parasport.

“It must be emphasized that the IPC alone cannot transform the world for 1.2 billion people who make up 15% of the world’s population. This is why we have accelerated our efforts to collaborate with the world, in the field disability and health We have formed strategic partnerships with several organizations that share our passion for promoting social inclusion, such as the International Disability Alliance, UN Human Rights, the World Health Organization and the Valuable 500, which you will all hear at this summit, with the launch of the first global campaign for the rights of people with disabilities, which has had an extraordinary impact since its launch on August 19,” said Parsons.

Craig Spence, Director of Brand and Communications, IPC, said, “We have a number of key learning outcomes that we want to achieve over the two days. We want to assess the UN’s strategic direction, framework and policy, and how these guide the Paralympic Movement’s strategy and how it propagates through the Movement.

The Inclusion Summit was first launched in 2010. Dean Gasper, Director of the World Sports Academy, explained: “The IPS Academy Inclusion Summit was launched to provide even greater collaboration between Paralympic sport and the many athletes who, as we say so often, excite and inspire the world and global inclusiveness. For the past 11 years, the Inclusion Summit has promoted achievement within and by the Paralympic Movement, particularly by athletes. It is in fact their commitment that inspires us all, and it is their performance that excites the world.

Craig Spence (Wethe15)
Craig Spence, Director of Brand and Communications at IPC, provides an overview of the Wethe15 initiative.

Highlighting the importance of data analysis and changing the narrative around disability, Juan Pablo Salazar, IPC Board Member, said: “In many parts of the world, there are still many of underdevelopment for adaptive sports, and this should happen at all levels. . How many schools around the world offer children with disabilities a differential approach in their integrated physical activity class? This requires capacity building. We have guidelines at the IPC, a wonderful program called “I’m Possible”, which provides basic schools with different tools for teachers to know how to include children with different types of disabilities. But I’m sure there are other fantastic frameworks out there.

UN Under-Secretary-General Amina J Mohammed said:15% of the world’s population are people with disabilities who face physical and social barriers and false stereotypes of dependency and incapacity. Because of these practices and perceptions, they are more likely to be excluded from education, employment, community life and opportunities of all kinds. So I’m thrilled to be part of the We the 15 campaign, the biggest movement ever to challenge and change that.

The Honorable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion of Canada and Paralympian, said, “I come from the Paralympic Movement and without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. I firmly believe that the Paralympic Movement is a driver of social change and a catalyst for the inclusive employment of people with disabilities. It is a rich subject and something that fascinates me enormously.

My parents spent my childhood challenging the systems that excluded me and then overcoming the barriers I faced as a person with a disability. I realized early on that the world was not built for people like me, certainly not for my needs. I had to insist that my needs be taken into consideration, and I learned that people always made assumptions about what I could and couldn’t do.

“If we could design an inclusive sports system, why couldn’t we design other systems that way? Transportation, education, healthcare, employment? And that idea fascinated me. It taught me that obstacles not because of my disability; they were a result of the way our systems were designed. I wasn’t broken, our systems were. And it taught me that my voice, the voice of a person with a disability, mattered and needed to be at the decision-making table. So, thank you, Paralympics.”

While describing the climax of the Tokyo Games, Paralympian Rachel Latham, who has been on the media team for the past four events, recalled, “There were no spectators due to COVID rules. However, the athletes all supported each other. So even though they didn’t have the crowd to cheer them on, they had the support of their fellow athletes and that really helped them win those medals.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, added: “Community life and community support for people with disabilities must be seen as an essential component of development. The UN system, service providers, civil society and donors must unite behind this call if we are to build back better and leave no one behind.

Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO Assistant Director for Social and Human Sciences, said: “Sport really has a role to play in transforming society. It is a true vector of equality. Sport should be for everyone, especially for people with disabilities.

Commenting on employment opportunities, Neil Milliken of Atos added: “There is always a debate about where to place the delivery function for accessibility in an organization. There’s an owner in every part of the business and it’s coordinated.


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