Coaching Association of Canada
Coaching Athletes with a Disability

People with a disability who get involved in sport are athletes first and foremost - they have the same basic needs, drive, and dreams as any other athlete. For them as well, coaching is a crucial factor to the quality of their sport experience.

Many coaches who have never worked with athletes with a disability feel that, to be effective, they need highly specialized skills, knowledge, or training. This is a misperception. In fact, most coaches who work with athletes with a disability soon discover that coaching these participants is fundamentally no different than coaching any other athlete. The challenge is to truly understand the person, to focus on their abilities, and to see what they can achieve.

Current resources to help coaches build a positive sport experience for their athletes with sensory, intellectual, physical, or behavioural disabilities include:

eLearning Module: NCCP Coaching Athletes with a Disability

Coaching Athletes with a Disability




After completing the NCCP Coaching Athletes with a Disability, you will be able to:

•    explain the benefits of sport participation for persons with a disability;
•    communicate effectively and respectfully with, and regards to, persons with a disability;
•    design positive, safe, and inclusive sport experiences for persons with a disability; and
•    consider next steps in their professional development related to coaching persons with a disability.

The module is delivered via on-demand eLearning in the Locker at a cost of $15.

Manual: Coaching Athletes with a Disability

Created by experts with extensive experience working with athletes with a disability, this detailed manual was covers key topics such as:

  • Welcoming athletes with a disability to your sport program and making a positive first impression
  • Learning more about different types of disabilities
  • Assessing athletes' fitness, coordination, and skill level
  • Understanding the athletes' perspective
  • Establishing trust

Get the Manual

Resource Guide: Supporting Young Athletes Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in a Mainstream Setting

Written by Carolynn Osborn and supported by Sport Manitoba, the Manitoba Department of Education and Advanced Learning, the Manitoba Deaf Sports Association, the Canadian Deaf National Swimming Team and the Canadian Deaf Sport Association, this guide provides information on hearing loss, principles in effective communication, creating Deaf and Hard of Hearing friendly environments, and certain sport specific modifications.

Get the Guide

Community Engagement

Interested in using your new knowledge about coaching athletes with a disability? Jooay is an application that helps athletes with disabilities and their families locate opportunities that are accessible, suit their needs and abilities, match their preferences, and can assist their sport participation.

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