Accessible Physical Activity Checklist

Web version (switch to French). The APA checklist will help organizations provide clear information about their physical activity programs.

A child with a disability playing baseball

Image Description: A child with a disability playing baseball. Running to a base with two adults cheering them on while running next to them. A baseball diamond is in the background.

The checklist provides suggested information about the Who, What, Where and When of your program. We also include examples, tips and tricks to make this information user-friendly for families of children with disabilities.

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PDF Version (English)

Who

Provide the following information about your organization and staff.

Image Description: A group of youths in sport-styled wheelchairs playing lacrosse. They are wearing helmets and safety gear, playing in a gym environment.

A group of youths with disabilities playing adapted lacrosse

1. Organization Name and Background Information

  • Name of organization
  • Background information of organization
  • Mission and vision
  • Values regarding inclusion
  • Disability or Inclusion policy
  • Funding sources or sponsors

Example: Abilities Centre

Abilities Centre is committed to building inclusive and accessible communities. Using our multi-award winning, fully accessible 125,000 square foot facility as an inclusion incubator, we develop evidence-based programs and services that can be scaled locally, provincially, nationally and globally.

Focusing on improving quality of life by positively impacting health and well-being, social inclusion and economic participation for persons of all ages and abilities, Abilities Centre delivers programs and services in the areas of education, employment, sport, recreation and leisure, research and life skills.

Our Vision

Abilities Centre is the world’s most inclusive, accessible and barrier-free community hub and a model of inclusion for other communities. We educate and inform people, through research and innovation, on the need to celebrate the diverse backgrounds and conditions from which we all come.

2. Contact Information

  • Clear and up to date contact information
  • Who to contact for additional program information

3. Staff Information

  • Name
  • Credentials
  • Training Experience
  • Certificates
  • Contact Information
  • Programs taught
  • Photo
  • Interesting information about staff
  • Vulnerable sector check

Example

Name: J. Doe
Title: Multi-sport Instructor, Programs & Summer Camps

Three words that best describe John:
Passionate, innovative, performance driven

What’s his role and connection to the organization?

John is an innovative, performance-driven program instructor year-round and especially during the summer months. With a strong passion for inclusion, John has spent over 15years developing and instructing programs that serve the unique needs and abilities of individuals. John values the importance of building strong skills in various sports to and collaborative cross-sectoral partnerships to address accessibility, inclusion, and diversity challenges facing communities across Ontario. John runs our FUNdamental Kids Fitness Class (age 6-9) and hosts a weekly Family Fitness event (Saturdays at 11am).

What academic work set him up for success?

John holds a Bachelor’s inSocial Work from University of Victoria and a Bachelor’s in Child and YouthStudies from Brock University. He has also completed various inclusion certifications in disability and First Aid to ensure he is leading both innovative and safe programs.

Interesting tidbit:
Loves travelling and spending time with family.

Contact:
[email address]
[Telephone Number], [Extention]

Who: Tips and Tricks

Provide contact information in various ways (e.g., phone number, email, social media) so parents have different communication options.

As appropriate, include contact information for staff that are involved in programs relevant to families of children and youth with disabilities or supervise the programs directly. Make sure contact information is easy to find.Ensure that staff are comfortable with having their information shared and their business contact information is used when possible.

Safety is a major concern for many parents.Any training that can allow staff to support physical and emotional safety should be highlighted.

What

Provide the following information about the physical activity programs offered.

Image Description: A child in a swimsuit and cap sitting in a chair that is being lowered into a public pool. The person behind them is operating the device. The pool has lane dividers and banners.

A child being placed in a pool with the electric seat

1. Description of Program Activities

  • Type of activity
  • Level of inclusion
  • Level of competition
  • Eligibility
  • Level of challenge (e.g., competitive or non-competitive)
  • Activity breakdown
  • Classification information for competitive programs (if required)

Example:

Multi-sport Program Description

Our Multi-sport program is an introduction to a range of sports and social skills that foster confidence in a non-competitive environment. This program is recommended and best suited for children (ages 4-12) who are beginners in sport with little experience. This program is fully inclusive of children with physical disabilities.

Participants are taken through a variety of sports over eight weeks, spending two weeks on each sport learning skills and fundamentals. Over the eight weeks, children are introduced to four sports; track & field, wheelchair basketball, Taekwondo and bocce. While learning the fundamentals, the program will focus on developing participants’ agility, balance, coordination and confidence.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own water bottle, any assistive devices, running shoes, and comfortable clothes to ensure they can fully participate to the best of their abilities.

The ratio of staff to campers for this program is 1:3. Inquiries for 1:1 support can be made to the support supervisor at [Email Address]. The Multi-sport program will cost $200 for the entire eight-week program. If you require 1:1 support an additional cost of $50 a week is applied. If you’d like to learn about various subsidies or funding options to help your child participate in the program, please visit [Website] or contact [Name] at [Contact Information].

If you would like to learn more about our Multi-sport program, you can contact us at [Email Address] or call us directly at [Telephone Number] ext. [Extension Number]. We also offer an in-person information session where parents or caregivers and the child can come in and try the program and meet the instructors the week before each program begins.

2. Participant Reviews

  • Program reviews from families and individuals with disabilities

3. Populations Served

  • Who is able to participate in the program?
  • Chronological age
  • Cognitive age
  • Details regarding the specific disabilities this program serves (e.g., developmental or intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory disabilities)

4. Supports Available

  • Coach or Instructor: Participant ratios/assistance
  • Strategies for inclusion, adaption, or modifications
  • Transitions

5. "Must Brings"

  • Must bring items

Example

List of Must Bring items:

  • water bottle
  • snacks/lunch
  • medication & instructions
  • assistive devices or special equipment
  • running shoes or activity appropriate clothing (e.g., swimsuit, goggles, flip flops)
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • outdoor clothing if activities are outdoors (e.g., warm coat, scarf, hat, mittens, boots)

6. Cost

  • Cost of program
  • Available subsidies
  • Government financial support
  • Payment schedule option
  • Payment types accepted
  • Additional costs of equipment
  • Additional costs of support (if applicable)
  • Refund policies (if applicable)

7. Contact Information

  • Contact information for the staff member running the program

What: Tips and Tricks

Use images and videos of your programs so parents can better understand the activities and determine if they are appropriate for their child.

Be detailed when describing the program! Provide as much information as possible regrading program structure and duration so that parents can make an informed decision for their child.

Provide opportunities for children and youth with disabilities to “try-out” the program. You could also invite parents to watch.

Talk to families! Staff can ask some of the following questions to make sure your program can provide support to meet each family’s needs.

Example:

  • What are your child's needs?
  • Does your child require assistive devices?
  • What assistive devices do they use?
  • What level of independence does your child have?
  • Does your child require any supports?
  • Does your child require any medications? Do these need to be administered by a professional?
  • Has your child participated in similar programs in the past? How did the program modify to meet your child's needs?
  • What are some of your child's favourite activities?

Where

Provide the following information about your program location and facilities.

Image Description: A child in a wheelchair hitting a beach ball with a soft bat. They have short hair, and a chin strap, sitting in an adaptive manual wheelchair. They are playing in a neighbourhood on the grass.

A child in a wheelchair hitting a beach ball with a soft bat

1. Description of Facilities

  • Full location address
  • Accessibility features and description of facilities
  • Support or specialized equipment available

Make sure your facilities are accessible!

Facility Audits:

Support Programs:

2. Transportation Information

  • Transportation options (e.g., bus stops, train stations, transit services)

Example 1: Abilities Centre

The Abilities Centre is located in Whitby, just east of Toronto off Hwy 401 and next to the Whitby GO Station.

By car: Abilities Centre is located at 55 Gordon Street in Whitby. From the 401, take exit 410 and turn South (left) on Brock Street. Take Victoria Street West until you reach Abilities Centre, located on the North side of the road.

By transit: There are several bus stops located within walking distance from Abilities Centre.

By accessible transit: We work closely with Durham Region Specialized Services to arrange transportation to and from the centre. For specialized services and schedules, call 1-866-247-0055 (press 1) and the email is drtspecialized@durham.ca.

Example 2: Variety Village

To get to Variety Village by bus, take one of the following routes:

Where: Tips and Tricks

Include images and videos of the facilities. This is so parents can evaluate if they are suitable for their child.

Include a link or image of your facility’s location on a map (e.g. Google maps). Consider including information about public transit (e.g., nearest bus stops), parking, or shuttle services as appropriate.

When

Provide the following information about when your programs are offered.

Image Description: A person with down syndrome hitting a punching bag in boxing gloves. They are in workout attire with bright red gloves. Their trainer holds on to the bag.

A person with down syndrome boxing with their trainer

1. Program Schedule and Timing

  • Clear schedule of when programs will take place
  • Specific dates and times
  • Duration of the program (e.g., number of sessions, weeks, duration of each session)
  • Session plan and breakdown
  • Sessional breaks
  • Transition times between programs
  • Facility hours

Example 1: Drop-in Description

Variety Village's Summer Camps 2021 Program PDF

Example 2: Multi-week Program

Yoga: Yoga positions, breathing patterns, and stretching techniques are covered in this class. Increasing flexibility and tension release help to make a mind-body connection.

This program takes place on Saturdays between 10:00-11:00am and on Mondays between 2:30-3:30pm. This program is 10 weeks long and will begin on January 7th 2021. There will be no Monday yoga class on February 15th for Family Day.

The yoga studio will open 15 minutes prior to the class starting to allow participants to settle into a spot. Facility hours are posted on our website and can be found here: [Website].

2. Information Monitoring

  • Include a date to indicate when the information was last updated
  • Provide a date to when information will be updated if information is missing

When: Tips and Tricks

If available, provide references for information. This will improve the credibility of the information you provide.  

Engage your audience! Ask parents or caregivers to audit the program information you provide. Seek feedback from parents and caregivers to better understand their needs. This can give input on how your organization can help them support their child's physical activity participation.

Provide information about safety codes your organization follows.

Get in Touch

For more information, or if you have any questions, please fill out our submission form on our contact page.

Contact Us

How to Create Your Resource

Information Format and Presentation

If possible, incorporate inclusive images in pamphlets, videos, websites, and more. This can be done with stock photography or graphics modelled with various and diverse disabilities.

Adhere to provincial guidelines regarding accessible information. Example: Accessibility for Ontarians Disabilities Act.

Make information easy to find and access by following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Website and Online Sources

Navigation should be simple and clear. Consider creating a separate section for information specific to families of children and youth with disabilities.

Implement a search feature to use familiar terms (e.g., type of physical activity, disability, adapted or inclusive). This makes it easier for families to find relevant information about available programs.

Print Sources

Create a separate section for programs relevant to families of children and youth with disabilities. Make sure it is clearly labeled and easy to locate.