Breaking Down Barriers to Participation
Project GAIN addresses architectural barriers by ensuring that every aspect of the program is accessible to all individuals. This includes utilization of accessible indoor and outdoor facilities as well as supplying adaptive and specifically designed equipment. Participants are provided with the equipment necessary for them to successfully engage in the program. The equipment may include single-rider golf carts, gripping aids, clubs, and stability devices, among others. More detailed information on the equipment available to golfers can be found by following the links provided below in the resources section.
Individuals with mobility impairments may require the use of a single-rider golf car. This device allows the participant access to all areas of the course. The carts also come with support restraints, which increase safety and serve to provide stability. Teeing and golf-ball retrieval devices are used to aid participants that have trouble bending down to pick up or mark their balls. For individuals who decide to play one-handed, due to not having the use of an arm or a weakened grip, there are devices that aid in holding the club. Some of these include gripping aids, gloves, shock absorbers, and cushioned grips. A variety of adaptive equipment devices are available, and participants are provided with the device or devices that best fit their needs.Training
At the beginning of the program, GAIN staff members are involved in an intensive training program aimed at removing both programmatic and attitudinal barriers. It addresses programmatic barriers, for example, through seminars on adapting activities as well as safety and techniques for teaching golfers with disabilities. The most extensive training goes into the removal of attitudinal barriers. This includes disability awareness, understanding of functional abilities of individuals with disabilities, and the value of inclusion. These components entail in-depth information about disabilities and ways to interact and instruct individuals with various disabilities appropriately. This training provides the staff with the knowledge needed to create a supportive and accepting environment for the participants as well as providing an avenue for establishing true inclusion. Follow-up training throughout the project is a critical factor in the success of the program.