According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 20% of Australians have some form of disability.
The AFL supports the right of people with disabilities to be involved in all aspects of Australian football, including full and equal active participation. We are committed to ensuring that opportunities to play the game are accessible to all.
Australian football has a strong history of leading and advocating positive and proactive change in community attitudes and social policy.
Accordingly the AFL is dedicated to making it easy for people with disabilities to participate in Australian football including playing, coaching, officiating and administing the game.
All people within Australian football are reminded that not only are there legal and moral obligations to providing inclusive environments, it makes sense to actively encourage inclusion.
Barriers for people with disabilities
People with disabilities face certain barriers that make inclusion in sport difficult. Some of these include:
- Lack of awareness within clubs regarding inclusion
- Lack of confidence from people with a disability in their own ability or skill level
- Physical access
Overcome the barriers
The challenge for Australian football is to provide environments where people of all abilities are included. Some strategies include:
- Focus on what the person can do and if you are not sure – ask
- Do not assume people only want to play. Consider umpiring, volunteer or even simply supporting roles
- Modify activities to allow greater inclusion. However, remember that when modifying activities it is important that the integrity of the activity is maintained
Changing your club’s culture
Changing club culture takes time. Some strategies to create an inclusive club culture include:
- Introduce the idea to members and give them time to consider the implications of an inclusive environment before discussing the issue in more depth
- Identify ‘champions of change’ to become drivers within the club. Draw on the experiences of these key people within the club to become advocates for inclusion
Playing with a disability
People with a disability should have the same opportunities as anybody else looking to play.
NAB AFL Auskick is the AFL’s key introductory program for primary school-aged boys and girls and their families.
Through the weekly coaching program kids will learn the skills of the game through appropriately modified activities and rules, play football in a fun and safe environment and make plenty of new friends too.
Here is a great resource with supporting kids with disability in Auskick – http://allplayfooty.org.au/
Older people with a disability are encouraged to work with their relevant disability organisations to establish the best pathway to continue playing Australian football.
- Australian Sports Commission
- AUSRAPID: Opportunities for people with integration difficulties to participate in Australian football
Disability Action Plan
The development and implementation of a Disability Action Plan enables your club to proactively provide a club environment which encourages the participation of people with disabilities and accommodates their requirements.
Discrimination in regard to disability is an important issue for football clubs.
It is unlawful for a club or association, its management committee and the members of the committee, to discriminate on the grounds of a person’s disability by:
- refusing membership
- imposing terms and conditions of membership on the applicant
- denying the applicant access to facilities or benefits
AAA NAB AFL Auskick
Australian Football is intrinsic to our national cultural and NAB AFL Auskick is one of the most recognisable and popular junior sport programs for Australian children. In Queensland, there is close to 30,000 registered NAB AFL Auskick participants.
Aligned with the AFL Queensland vision of making the game more accessible to all, AFL Queensland holds Access All Abilities AAA NAB AFL Auskick in some areas.
For further informaton on