World outdoor fitness made a special effort to include units for the disabled, in order not to exclude anyone from using our community outdoor gyms.
15% of the world’s population is disabled. The majority of people with disabilities in South Africa have been excluded from the mainstream of society and have thus been prevented from accessing fundamental social, political and economic rights.
Poor people face a greater risk of impairment or disability. In addition, the birth of a disabled child, or the occurrence of disability in a family, often places heavy demands on family morale, thrusting it deeper into poverty.
World Outdoor Fitness’s Initiative brings individuals with disabilities and community organizations together. This Initiative does not create programs or advocate that people join segregated special classes, but helps people with disabilities work out and play alongside everyone else.
The National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA)
What does it mean to include everyone?
Why is it important for people with disabilities to be able to work out and play in the community in other than special classes and programs? We believes that true community inclusion occurs when everyone, regardless of capability, participates side-by-side.
For many people with disabilities, the best way to learn how to be in the community is to learn to work out and play with people without the disabilities. It helps them learn more quickly through role models to be a part of the community as a person with contributions to make.
For members of the community without disabilities who participate along, it is also a learning experience and an exercise in valuing differences. When people with disabilities are included, they make friends and develop life-long relationships so that they can live the lives everyone wants to have. Adults and children alike learn about the unique perspective people with disabilities have to contribute to the community experience. The work of creating inclusive communities and an open society is not essentially a matter of resources, but how we think about people who have disabilities.
We are encouraging decision makers to include 10% of paraplegic units in every park to ensure a better, active, healthy life for all.