Priming the pump for inclusion: An exploration of factors affecting implementation of an organizational accessibility self-assessment in sport organizations


Sport is not accessible to many Canadians with a disability. Evidence suggests strategic planning as a key to improving organizational capacity to increase access to sport among people with a disability (Wicker & Breuer, 2014). This planning must not only permeate program planning but all aspects of the organization, from hiring practices to service delivery. The objective of this study was to understand factors contributing to an organization's readiness to conduct an organizational accessibility self-assessment, namely the Leading Equitable Accessible Delivery (Abilities Centre). Administrators (n=8) from seven Canadian sporting organizations who completed the LEAD were interviewed about their experience engaging in the audit process. A LEAD facilitator was interviewed to garner insight into LEAD delivery considerations. Data were analyzed through inductive thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2019) and subsequently mapped onto the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to identify theoretical constructs affecting organization uptake of the LEAD. Factors described as affecting uptake spanned: a) the inner setting: particularly important was an organizational culture and implementation climate valuing and prioritizing inclusion and accessibility; b) characteristics of LEAD participants: a readiness to learn among participant and the facilitator's sensitivity to existing knowledge were factors suggested as affecting uptake; and c) the process: priming LEAD participants with information about the process and involvement of an external expert as a facilitator were considered valuable. Organizational accessibility assessments are critical to growing the disability sport sector. To enhance likelihood of successful audit implementation, characteristics of the organization, participants, and the process itself must be considered.