Looking back over the years we have come far with inclusivity in worldwide events. It was in 2002 that made a moment in history when the Commonwealth Games held in Manchester, England had the athletes with a disability included as full members to their national teams. This made them the first fully inclusive international multi-sports games. And with each passing year accessibility is something each event is sure to include because over time accessibility awareness has increased.
More and more people have pushed for recognition and inclusion within society because not being able to enjoy an event because there is a lack of access is unfair. Thankfully the Commonwealth Games provide appropriate access to all competition venues for those with disabilities. And it has been confirmed that the next Commonwealth Games is going to be the largest integrated para-sports program in history. Each year the CGF breaks records and proves their commitment to equality and inclusion.
All of the venues have accessible services and facilities such as:
- Accessible seating — wheelchair and enhanced amenity seating are available.
- Assistive technologies — such as audio description and Auslan translation
- Dog spending areas — these can be found at all venues for guide, hearing and assistance dogs.
- Accessible meeting point — located at the entry of each venue, with staff that is there to provide any information you need or help you to your seat.
Venue maps and spectator event guides on hand are perfect as they provide information and locations of accessible facilities. There is also free public transport with accessible options that are available.
We are now at a place where things are slowly getting better and everyday life is becoming a more inclusive time for those with a disability. Awareness is being spread and large organisations, such as the Commonwealth Games, are on board with providing appropriate access for those who need it. Though we are not there just yet there is now more accessibility than ever before. It’s the small victories that will lead us to where we want to be and in time the world will become accessible friendly more than ever before.
The Accessible Icon Project
The ISA (International Symbol of Access) was first created in 1968 and was recently modified in 2014. It could potentially replace the original ISA. The project is still ongoing with some organisations on board, however, there are some organizations that reject the new Accessible icon as it still stigmatizes those who have a disability but aren’t in a wheelchair.