From the Executive Director: Together We Can

green_grass-605.jpgI can’t believe it!  Almost half the year is already gone.  Although COVID-19 put most of us on hold, golf courses and programs are slowly reopening.  It will take some  time for things to get back to normal, whatever that new normal may be.  But we will get there.

As things start back up, programming to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to the game of golf and life may take some time to resume. But we encourage everyone to remember a phrase coined by Tim Shriver, disability rights advocate and Chairman of Special Olympics – “Remember to Choose to Include”.  When society talks about inclusion, yes it includes gender, ethnic minority, etc., but it also includes individuals with disabilities which crosses all segments of our population.

The number of individuals with disabilities varies depending on who conducted the survey and when a survey has been conducted.  According to the most recent from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 61 million adults in the United States with some form of a disability.  That is 1 in 4 in the adult population.  Regarding youth with a disability, according to Youth.gov, of the 62 million children in the USA under age 15, almost 10% have a disability.

What do all these statistics tell us?  There is a great opportunity for everyone engaged in the business and game of golf to reach out to organizations, therapeutic facilities, hospitals, etc. that serve this population and  introduce golf as a possible program to provide the experience and benefits that the game has for these individuals.  Great examples are programs conducted by Dana Dempsey at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas with their “Learn to Golf” program.  Another is Kevin Corn, PGA Professional, who conducts a program in collaboration with Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital in Maryland Heights, Missouri.  The PGA HOPE program conducted by the PGA of America and their PGA REACH foundation is impacting the lives of our Veterans and Military each day through golf.  I could go on and on about programs around the country that are making a difference through our game.  But much more should be done to ensure that our game is truly inclusive.

The National Alliance is here to assist you in the development of these programs for inclusion. Check out our website at www.accessgolf.org for resources, best practices, program/facility/instructor search engine, toolkits for courses and individuals with disabilities, and much more.

Together we can all make this game inclusive and accessible.

Steve Jubb, PGA – Executive Director

 

About National Alliance for Accessible Golf
The National Alliance for Accessible Golf is a coalition of recreational, therapeutic, and golf organizations committed to the inclusion of people with disabilities through the game of golf.

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