Deakin University is proud to sponsor the Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards. Deakin University supports the rights of people with disability to be included in the communities of their choice. Sport is a cornerstone of Australian culture, and it’s important for all people regardless of ability.
Deakin University is committed to developing courses and research projects to help ensure the health and wellbeing of young people with disability and their families. The School of Health and Social Development has a suite of undergraduate and post graduate courses which focus on disability and ensure that Deakin graduates are at the cutting edge of knowledge and understanding of current practice and policy in disability. Deakin recognizes that sport is important for health, wellbeing and social engagement for Australians and an important part of the Australian way of life, hence our involvement and support of these important community awards. Furthermore, our researchers are involved in many research projects that focus on both children and adults with disability. hence our involvement and support in these important community awards.
One of these is a new Deakin University program that is helping children of all abilities be part of AFL Auskick in 2017, with researchers to monitor their progress as part of an investigation into the benefits of physical activity for young Australians with a disability. AllPlay – a collaboration between Deakin University and the AFL, with funding from Moose Toys and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) – has been specially designed to support children with disabilities to feel comfortable and enjoy the benefits of participating on the footy field. The national project is spearheaded by Professor Nicole Rinehart, Director of the Deakin Child Study Centre, part of the University’s School of Psychology, who said her program hoped to change the fact that access to sport was not a level playing field in Australia. “Children with developmental challenges, such as autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, language disorders and intellectual disabilities, often feel their disabilities are a barrier to participating in team sport,” Professor Reinhart said. AllPlay is about opening up opportunities for sport to all children, because we can see that it has such a positive impact on not just their physical development, but their social development too.” The project is led by Deakin University, in partnership with the AFL and the NDIA, and research collaborators at Charles Darwin University, Perth’s Telethon Institute and the University of Melbourne. Visit the AllPlay website at www.allplay.org.au, or download the free AllPlay Footy app from the App Store or Google Play.