A new IRFU initiative funded by Sport Ireland is making rugby more accessible to people with additional needs.
Every rugby club in the four provinces is to receive one Rugby Communications Board –a large format visual aid that helps those with additional communication needs to achieve their potential in rugby.
It is a specialised communications system, designed by Speech and Language Therapists and based on principles of child language development that helps coaches to simplify their language and supports players to understand someone is saying.
The IRFU Rugby Communications Board
- Supports those with additional communication needs to achieve their potential
- Supports the coaches message to be understood
- Helps break down communication barriers
- Supports the players to communicate with others
- Most importantly it supports inclusion within our clubs
Minister of State for Sport, the Gaeltacht & Defence Jack Chambers TD met with IRFU representatives at Sport Ireland Campus to launch the initiative and mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2022, which takes place December 3rd each year.
Printed Rugby Communications boards are being rolled out first to clubs with existing disability sections and will be available to all clubs by the end of the season.
A series of coaching cards are currently in production to provide additional practical support to volunteers working with players with additional needs. The cards are a practical, hand-held printed pitch-side tool for coaches and who would benefit from a visual aid in delivering training. Distribution of coaching cards is set to get underway in the new year.
The disability section of the Irish Rugby website has a number of existing resources which can be accessed by all volunteers.
- Mixed Ability Guidelines
- Setting up a Disability Rugby Section
- Tag Disability Laws
- Overview on Different Disabilities
- Vision Impairment Information website
All resources can be accessed at https://www.irishrugby.ie/playing-the-game/spirit-of-rugby/disability-rugby/