Soon I will be launching a podcast series called, “The Digital Scribbler.” In this podcast, I will evaluate, theorize, and examine how technology is or can help people with disabilities overcome human limits and create a more accessible society. I have chosen to focus on this both because of my specialization in technology and my passion for being a thought leader, but additionally because it is so frequently overlooked that modern technology can have a life-changing impact on the quality of life of those with disabilities.
Here is an excerpt from Episode 3, which focuses on sports and community, prior to its release:
“The ways in which current sports teams and leagues are unsuitable for children with physical disabilities is much more apparent and visible. It is so seldom that mobility aids are offered or accepted by sports teams, and so frequently this results in either a complete exclusion of those with physical disabilities or segregation. Even in the instances when children with mobility difficulties, or those who use wheelchairs or other sorts of devices, are allowed to participate in sports, the playing field is never wholly equalized. They are not given any kind of help or accommodation that could make the experience a positive or a fair one and are often disregarded and ostracized by the nondisabled players.
So why is it essential that we work to remedy this problem and make the world of sports a more accessible place for children and adults with disabilities? First, Sports can have a very significant impact on a child’s life and the development of crucial skills. Being on a sports team can help strengthen social skills, develop the ability to work as part of a team, improve problem-solving, and heighten other skills that will carry over later in life. However, often it is difficult to find a league or organization that is both accommodating and inclusive for children with disabilities. This is slowly being remedied as many more become available so that children can have the same opportunities for participation in sports.
Sports are so necessary for helping children learn to socialize and interact with other children. When a part of a team, children’s communication skills develop drastically, and they can form a sense of community. On the other hand, when they are ostracized through inaccessibility, they are deprived of this experience and the chance to build a community through a common ground. The benefits of having equal ground and opportunity in sports are manifold. I am participating in modified sports provide children with a way to empower themselves and build camaraderie with their peers. They have space where they are in charge of their body and can effectively determine their own limits without being excluded from the activity.”