In the book, Same Spirit Different Team, I stress the importance of Deaf sport engaging with parents of deaf children for all kinds of reasons which are obvious.
In the past decade or so, Deaf sports organisations have found it difficult to contact parents because of safeguarding processes which are either preventing deaf adults from getting into schools to speak to deaf children and their parents or schools do not have the resources to make the link between Deaf sport and parents.
In the UK, there has been a recent re-structuring of the way in which parents of disabled children and those with other educational needs are connected up with schools and each other and also with other local and regional organisations who offer services and activities that would benefit them. This is an opportunity for Deaf sport.
SENDirect will be launching on 21 January. But what is it ?
The creators of SENDirect want families to be able to find the right activities and support that suit their interests, lifestyles and budgets. This includes finding the right after-school club, sporting activity etc
It should make it easier for Deaf sport organisations to promote their services directly to families and be able to understand and respond to their needs and demands for future services. I would also suggest that this is also an opportunity for smaller parent-led groups too, who wish to get their deaf children involved in sport and an active healthy lifestyle.
So, all Deaf sport organisations in the UK, if you have a committee members, supporters, athletes etc who live in the London area, I encourage you to ask them to go along to the SENDirect launch on 21 January 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, London Docklands 4.30-6.30pm
At the launch, you will be able to:
- How Local Authorities are using the service to support effective commissioning
- Speak to providers about how they plan to use the service to support their business development
- Hear from families about their hopes and ambitions for the service
- Talk to the team about how your Deaf sport organisation can get involved
As the saying goes “Do not wait until you are thirsty before you dig a well.” You have to help yourself now.