Tagged with: accessible advocate athletes awareness disability exercise life Physical Activity sport Technology wheelchair
Back on September 13, 2013, is when I first saw the Guinness commercial that featured a person with a disability playing wheelchair basketball with some of his friends without a disability. Almost immediately I knew this commercial was going to be talked about for a long time, as well as make me want to have a drink.
There are many issues to talk about in regards to this commercial. The first one deals with the inclusion aspect. This commercial was right on when it comes to having friend(s) with a disability. As a person with a disability I did not participate in wheelchair basketball as a kid, but I did participate in football and basketball with my peers who did not have a disability. As we grew older, some went on to high school level sports. Some like me were kind of left behind and just participated from a recreational stand point. As an adult I have found my sport calling as I have a wheelchair rugby player for about 20 years. There have been very few occasions in which I participate with my friends without a disability in wheelchair basketball or wheelchair rugby. Although it can happen it is only under the heading of an organized wheelchair basketball fundraiser or an adult recreation league at a disability sport organization for community participation. What I am basically saying is that the image in the commercial is almost like a utopia. It would be great for any person with a disability to go to a YMCA or a recreation workout facility and engage in wheelchair basketball. The only problem is there would be no wheelchair to be found in those locations. It would only be if the person with a disability could provide four extra sports chairs for his friends.
So, in regards to inclusion the commercial is splendid in addressing an issue about providing recreational opportunities to people with disabilities. Since people with disabilities are the most underserved people and have the biggest health disparities this commercial gives hope to a future that has yet to be realized.
Another area that this commercial touches on is that it was the first time that a large corporation has placed people with disabilities in a commercial. There are 57 million people with disabilities in this country alone, 1 billion world-wide. This is an untapped market.
At the end of the day, the Guinness commercial has been very important in touching on issues relevant to disability culture. Although there are so many issues that still need to be discussed such as person first language, universal design and 504. We can still talk about how this commercial started the idea that successful inclusion maybe some be a type of integration between people with and without disabilities. Who is up for a drink?
Tomorrow in celebration of International Day of People with disabilities please catch the web ex-talk on the future of sport: Uniting people with and without disabilities through Inclusive sports technology.