From the Executive Director: What Does Disability Look Like?

2021 is almost over – just another month to go. The last couple of years have been challenging for us all especially those with disabilities. But we are looking forward to 2022 as we strive to ensure that the game of golf and life is truly inclusive. But to do so, we need to be welcoming as a sport and industry. Not all disabilities are visible.

Language is also extremely important. How many times have you heard people refer to an individual with a disability as “a handicapped person”? Or used the “R” word to describe an individual with intellectual disability? Or refer to someone as a “dwarf or midget”? These are some of the descriptions we need to change. A disability description is just a medical diagnosis. In communications with people, we need to focus on the individual first. Use phrases such as a “Person with a disability,” a “Person with intellectual disability,” or a “Person short in stature.”  Always put the Person first in your communication. A Person with a disability is a Person just like those without disability. They just happen to have a medical diagnosis. Better yet just refer to them as a Person!! 

A great resource from the CDC concerning People First Language is:

Communicating With and About People with Disabilities | CDC

There are more than 61 million individuals with disabilities in the United States, and they are a potential market for the golf industry. Disability crosses all segments of society. Yes, not all will gravitate to golf, but keep in mind that this population has over $21 billion in discretionary income (that is over and above the essentials of life such as mortgages, rent, food and health care). They are consumers, many of whom are looking for recreational activities. Make your golf courses, community golf programs and instruction programs accessible, inclusive, and most importantly, welcoming them to the game of golf and life.

Since 2001, we have promoted, advocated, and provided education/training programs and resources to individuals with disabilities and the golf industry to ensure inclusion. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, and as we look forward to the next 20 years and beyond, we need your support.

With 2021 ending soon, we ask that you consider a donation to the National Alliance for Accessible Golf. It is easy to make a year-end donation to the National Alliance. Go to www.accessgolf.org/donate. Thank you in advance for considering the National Alliance for Accessible Golf in your year-end giving.

Finally, may you all have a safe and happy holiday season.

Steve Jubb, PGA/LM – Executive Director

About National Alliance for Accessible Golf
Dave Barton, PGA is the Executive Director for the 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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