Be The Change - How to use evidence based Industry Best Practice Guidelines to support more disabled people to work in leisure

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If you don’t think this session is relevant to you – think again! Yes that is YOU, not someone else in your organisation or the person sitting next to you, or solely the remit of staff with ‘Inclusion’ in their job title. If we are going to achieve real change it will rely on everybody’s contribution. Whether you are a training provider, awarding organisation, leisure operator, employer or whether you are on the gym floor, in sales and marketing, human resources, senior management or board director – you can help ‘Be The Change’. If this area of work doesn’t interest you, then you definitely need to come to this session.

Based on a partnership project between Aspire and University of Birmingham, this session will provide factual information and interactive activity  centred on some of the recommendations from the guidelines and will address these key points:

  • Why are disabled people under represented?

  • Why is it important to the leisure sector, to disabled people and to wider society?

  • What are Industry Best Practice Guidelines and how can I use them?

  • What is the research behind it that makes the guidelines credible and valid?

  • Even if I ignore the guidelines, how will it affect me and my organisation?


Hilary Farmiloe, National Programme Manager, InstructAbility, Aspire

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Hilary joined the spinal injury charity InstructAbility in 2011, after working as a development manager for the government’s School Sport Partnership scheme.

 InstructAbility, funded by Sport England, has been delivered across many regions working in partnership with hundreds of leisure operators. To date over 300 disabled people have become qualified fitness professionals through the multi award winning programme.  As well as working with training providers YMCAfit and the Institute of Swimming, Hilary also collaborates with many other stakeholders such as ukactive, EFDS, Clubbercise, SOSA and England Athletics. Hilary is a Chartered Member of CIMSPA and works to influence inclusive policy and practices within the leisure sector and has been active in promoting inclusion across organisations and at industry events. She has recently been awarded fellowship of the RSA for her contribution in this area. Currently, Hilary is working with Birmingham University on a commissioned research project to provide industry guidelines on training and employing disabled people in the fitness industry.

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Dr Juliette Stebbings, Senior Lecturer Sport and Exercise Psychology, University of Portsmouth

Dr Juliette Stebbings is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Portsmouth. Juliette’s research interests focus on the role of sport and physical activity as vehicles for physical, psychological, and social development in the community. One key strand of this work relates to the accessibility and inclusivity of the fitness and leisure sector for disabled people. In collaboration with the spinal cord charity Aspire and their InstructAbility programme which aims to create a series of Best Practice Guidelines for the training and employment of disabled people within the industry.

Who should attend

Choose this session if you are committed to change and diversity within the sector. This breakout is for anyone, whether you are a training provider, leisure operator or whether you are on the gym floor, in sales and marketing, human resources, senior management or board director.