Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games commits to disability pledge
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games had signed up to the Include Me West Midlands pledge. The pledge is a movement of change to a more inclusive region, facilitated by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in partnership with Sport England and national charity, Activity Alliance.
Include Me West Midlands shows disabled people, and people with long-term health conditions, that an organisation has made a commitment to support and consider how it can engage better with people and is open to listening to their thoughts and views.
It is a regional approach to making the West Midlands an exemplar region for engaging disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to be physically active.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said:
"This latest signing to Include Me West Midlands helps raise the profile of this initiative which helps to challenge perceptions and change lives of disabled people.
"Having the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on board will help give disabled people, and people with long-term health conditions a voice to help improve access and opportunities across the West Midlands. In addition, it gives organisations the opportunity to contribute to making the region a better place to live.
"Include Me West Midlands is an example of how all of us who work and live here have a part to play in the success of the West Midlands and how all of us can use our unique roles to deliver lasting change across our region."
Supporting Include Me West Midlands is just one way that Birmingham 2022 is looking to ensure that the Games, the biggest event ever to be staged in the region, will be the most accessible Commonwealth Games in history.
Ian Reid, Chief Executive of Birmingham 2022, said:
"Signing up to Include Me West Midlands, which is such an important initiative for the region, further underlines our pledge to organise an accessible event and follows our recent unveiling of the Birmingham 2022 Accessibility and Inclusion Commitment.
"This commitment incorporates the Birmingham 2022 Inclusive Games Standard, which takes current legislation and existing regulations as a baseline and builds on these to create a new blueprint for accessibility standards at a Commonwealth Games and for major events being held in the West Midlands for years to come."
So far, 64 organisations have signed up to the pledge including Coventry City’s charity Sky Blues in the Community, Aston Villa Community Foundation and the Wasps Group.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, the WMCA portfolio holder for wellbeing and leader of Warwickshire County Council, said:
"It is highly encouraging to see such a high-profile event show its commitment to improving how it engages with disabled people.
"The pledge will help break down barriers and accommodate the diverse needs across the West Midlands, so people feel empowered to get active and lead a healthy lifestyle."
Include Me West Midlands pledge uses Activity Alliance's Ten Principles to identify how organisations can make improvements to engage better with people. It goes deeper than simply creating access to sports or leisure facilities. It is about having an appropriately trained workforce, improved transport, access to services and inclusive messaging and imagery.
The aim is to make a positive difference to disabled people and people with long-term health conditions by giving them a voice to help improve access and opportunities across the West Midlands.