Getting to know people

The first experience of boating is key to people wanting to come back again and again, and make being on the water part of their active lives. Everyone wants the first and every experience to be safe, fun and open

Sailability delivery principles: safe, fun and open

At the heart of this is a two way conversation to get to know people and the support they need.

The boating organisation

The participant

What is my plan so I can make good decisions about a person’s safety and how they can participate?

How can I find out what is on offer and be reassured it is for me, and it will be worth giving it a go

How can I find out about the participant - what people appreciate about them, what is important to them and for them, and how I can support them?

How will I work out whether I want to come back again?

This resource focuses on:

  • A decision making process

  • Getting the language right

  • Important principles underpinning the conversation

  • Prompts and the right questions

A decision making process

Talking to the person and finding out about them enables you to come up with a plan for the person to get familiar with the boat, get in and out, be recovered from the water, be able to move around once in the boat and use any equipment needed to be safe, control the vessel or to maintain posture

Getting the language right

Language can act as a barrier when it is negative and misrepresents disabled people and their lives. It can create stigmas and labels. Positive language, on the other hand, can attract people and encourage them to get on the water.

Important principles underpinning the conversation

Getting the conversation right means we need to know what is important to people and what they want to get out of the conversation. Using the Activity Alliance’s Ten Principles will make activities more appealing to disabled people.

Prompts and the right questions

The person going sailing knows themselves. The club or centre and its staff and volunteers know about sailing. A conversation between both parties will provide all the information needed to make good decisions about safety and participation.


Download the guide as an accessible pdf

Getting to know you
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