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Support Our Athletes

Supporting athletes can come in a variety of ways due to the variety of abilities our athletes have. Support for one is going to look a lot different than support for another. Below we have collected resources and summarized some ways to build your confidence as a volunteer during Fall Fest!

What is a 
Disability?

A disability is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).

Types of Disability

Neuro-
diversity

  • Every brain work differently from person to person

  • Due to this variation, people have different skills, needs, and abilities.

  • In the past, neurodiversity was associated with deficits in brain function.

  • However, we now recognize that the idea of neurodiversity brings strength to those who may experience the world differently than most.

  • While we all think differently, neurodivergent mainly describe those who have a more profound difference between their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Recognize the uniqueness of everyone's abilities, skills, & needs

  • Educate yourself about how to be a better disability all & open your mind when listening to us!

  • Consider if your environments are inclusive & accommodating.

  • Are there quiet spaces for people who may process sensory input differently?

  • Understand that neurodiversity (& disability) is diverse & complex.

  • Something that may be accommodating one person, may not be accommodating to another person (try to find a happy medium)!

How to 
Support?

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Non-Verbal

"Just because someone is nonspeaking, does not mean they’re non-thinking. Around 25 to 30 percent of children with autism spectrum disorder are minimally verbal or do not speak at all. These individuals are referred to as nonverbal or nonspeaking, but even the term nonverbal is a bit of a misnomer. While nonspeaking individuals with autism may not speak words to communicate, many still understand words and even use written words to communicate.
Nonspeaking individuals with autism utilize a variety of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) methods. These range from no-tech and low-tech options such as gestures, writing, drawing, spelling words, and pointing to photos or written words, to high-tech options like iPads or speech-generating devices."

Adapt-Ability

Patience & Understanding in Interactions

  • Changing the ways of your world with intention and purpose

    • Conversations, Thoughts, Movements, etc.

  • “Only UP” when interacting with people with disabilities

    • U=Understanding ; P=Patience

  • Spread these ideas of adaptability to those who may be less knowledgeable and have less experience with a disabilities lens in their world.

American Sign Language

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  • Sign language is not universal, meaning deaf individuals from different countries use different sign languages. 

  • American Sign Language (ASL) is the most common sign language used in the U.S. 

  • Words are expressed through manual articulation (hand signs) in combination with non-manual markers (includes facial expressions).

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  • When watching someone sign, don’t just look at their hands because you will miss important non-manual markers!

  • Use your dominant hand when signing

    • If you are ambidextrous, pick one hand to be your dominant hand and be consistent

  • Don’t leave out facial expressions and body movements as they convey important information!

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