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International organisations

International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (IFAPA)

  • International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (IFAPA) is a cross-disciplinary professional organisation of individuals, institutions, and agencies that supports and promotes adapted physical activity, disability sport, and all aspects of movement and exercise science for individuals with disability.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

  • International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. Its purpose is to organise the summer and winter Paralympic Games and act as the International Federation for ten sports, supervising and coordinating World Championships and other competitions. The vision of the IPC is ‘To enable Para athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world.’

Invictus Games Foundation

  • Invictus Games Foundation through the Invictus Games uses the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.

Special Olympics International

  • Special Olympics International is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community for person with intellectual disability, where every single person is accepted and welcomed. Intellectual disabilities happen in all cultures, races and countries. The goal of Special Olympics is to reach out to the almost 200 million people in the world with intellectual disability through sports.

  • Policy on Sport for Persons with a Disability, Government of Canada, Sport Canada (2006). This Policy provides a framework for engaging partners and stakeholders in initiating changes that aim to reduce and ultimately eliminate sport-specific barriers that prevent persons with a disability from participating in sport. At the same time, the Policy addresses some of the environmental, structural, systemic, social and personal barriers that keep many persons with a disability from being full participants in Canadian society. The Policy envisions the full and active participation of persons with a disability in Canadian sport at all levels and in all forms, to the extent of their abilities and interests.
  • Canadian Paralympic Committee. The Canadian Paralympic Committee operates as a private, not-for-profit organisations with 25 member sports. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organisations.
  • Fragmented, complex and cumbersome: A study of disability sport policy and provision in Europe, Thomas N and Guett M, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, published online 3 October 2013. This article examines the provision of disability sport in 19 European countries. The authors conclude that the organisation and structure of disability sport in many European countries is fragmented, complex and cumbersome and exists within a policy climate characterised by a largely uncoordinated commitment to disability sport. In many countries, mainstreaming was a dominant (though largely rhetorical) policy objective. Only limited progress has been made towards achieving this objective because of the reluctance of various sports organisations to relinquish their existing roles and accept new responsibilities for disability sport.
  • Promoting the Participation of People with Disabilities in Physical Activity and Sport in Ireland, Hannon F, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Ireland (2005). This report highlights issues that need to be addressed if everyone is to attain their potential in and through physical activity and sport. It outlines how participation can be increased and how to ensure that people with disabilities experience quality physical activity and sport. The report highlights the need for all stakeholders to work across structures and organisations in order to formulate and implement strategies that will ensure quality experiences in sport and physical activity for people with disabilities.
  • Paralympics New Zealand. New Zealand’s first participation in international sports events for people with disabilities was in 1962. The New Zealand Paraplegic & Physically Disabled Federation was formed in 1968. The organisation became ParaFed New Zealand in the early1990’s and then became Paralympics New Zealand in 1998.  The organisation manages elite and development programs as part of the Paralympic movement.
  • British Paralympic Association. As the National Paralympic Committee for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Paralympic Association has as its membership the National Governing Bodies for sports; the National Disability Sport Organisations; and the home country Elite Disability Sport Organisations.
  • English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS). The EFDS strives to increase participation by providing advice and guidance to a number of partners and stakeholders.
  • Scottish Disability Sport (SDS). Scottish Disability Sport (formerly known as the Scottish Sports Association for Disabled People) was formed in 1962 to encourage the development of sport and physical recreation for disabled people throughout Scotland. During its early years the organisation was a branch of the British Sports Association for the Disabled. SDS became a company limited by guarantee in 2003. SDS is Scotland‘s governing and coordinating body for sports that service persons with a physical, sensory or learning disability.
  • Article 30 - Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport, United Nations (2006).
  • Sport and persons with disabilities: Fostering inclusion and well-being, United Nations (2008). Sport works to improve the inclusion and wellbeing of persons with disabilities in two ways — by changing what communities think and feel about persons with disabilities and by changing what persons with disabilities think and feel about themselves. The first is necessary to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with disability. The second empowers persons with disabilities so that they may recognise their own potential and advocate for changes in society to enable them to fully realise it. The community impact and individual impact of sport help reduce the isolation of persons with disabilities and integrate them more fully into community life. Sport changes community perceptions of persons with disabilities by focusing attention on their abilities and moving their disability into the background. Sport changes the person with a disability in an equally profound way. For some, it enables them to make choices and take risks on their own; for others, the gradual acquisition of skills and accomplishments builds the self-confidence needed to take on other life challenges.
  • Social rights and the relational value of the rights to participate in sport, recreation, and play, Lord J and Stein M, Boston University International Law Journal, Volume 27 (2009). In 2006 the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) that lays out a human rights framework engaging the full spectrum of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. This article considers the contributions of the CRPD to the development of social rights to participate in sport, recreation and play. The article begins by charting the shift from a medical model of disability to a social model. It analyses the conceptual framework for social rights in the CRPD and the connection between State obligations to eliminate disability discrimination and social rights’ guarantees for equal participation in sport, recreation, leisure and play.
  • Disabled Sports USA. Established in 1967, Disabled Sports USA’s mission is to provide national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs.  The organisation serves over 60,000 youth and adults through a nationwide network of over 100 community-based chapters located in 37 states nationwide.
  • US Paralympics. The organisation manages Paralympic Teams and sports in the United States. It also manages extensive outreach initiatives, connecting with youth and adults who have a disability.

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