Credit: Anthony Hayton

#WhoSays: Calling Time on Negative Perceptions

A new exciting campaign from Activity Alliance is calling time on negative perceptions about disability, inclusion and sport and asks.

For far too long disabled people have faced misconceptions and presumptions on what is and isn’t possible, including in sport. Leading national charity, Activity Alliance, wants to move the conversations on, open people’s minds and shift out-dated views on disability. Who says? gives positive evidence that replaces these negative ideas.

Launched on 15 July, the campaign was created in response to the Activity Alliance’s recent research, which explored non-disabled people’s attitudes on inclusive activity. The findings show a lack of understanding could be causing long-lasting barriers for disabled people, leading to inactivity. For the least active audience in our country, people’s attitudes can make or break activity experiences.

Who says we can’t break down barriers?

In reality, disabled people have countless personal experiences that lead to marginalisation, low confidence and inactivity.

Who Says? empowers people, on and off the field of play, to challenge their own and others’ perceptions. Here are some facts that need serious consideration:

  • Disabled people are twice as likely to be physically inactive as non-disabled people.
  • The main barriers to being active are psychological, logistical and physical, with psychological the most influential.
  • Research shows almost half of disabled people fear losing their benefits if they are seen to be physically active.

The campaign challenges six findings from the research:

  1. It’s not a real sport if you have to adapt it
  2. Disabled people aren’t competitive
  3. Watch what you say around disabled people
  4. Disabled people don’t want to join in
  5. Disabled people might get hurt
  6. Everyone can’t take part together

Barry Horne, Chief Executive for Activity Alliance, said: “Negative experiences should not be allowed to continually shape disabled people’s lives. If we truly want everybody to benefit from being active, then we need to call time on negative perceptions. The positive messages in our campaign provide a fresh and authentic view of the sports world.”

Adam Blaze, Sport England’s Strategic Lead for Disability, said: “The campaign tackles these myths head on showing that we can all do more to break down the barriers and challenge negative perceptions facing disabled people wanting to get involved in sport and physical activity.”

Who says you can’t be part of the movement?

The first campaign phase will run for six weeks over summer. Whilst the Who Says? movement begins, we are calling for you to get involved in the campaign by posting your own experiences using #WhoSays. Share our films and make your own to add your voice to the campaign.

Use #WhoSays to tell your story – you could be a disabled person who has challenged someone’s attitude whilst being active, or a club which wants to share positive stories.

Find out more

Press Release