Participation

SPORTS FOR ATHLETES WHO ARE DEAF OR HARD OR HEARING

Deaf Sports Australia supports the right of people who are deaf or hard of hearing to be involved in all aspects of the game, including full and equal active participation. Within this plan the term 'disability' includes all definitions of disability or words to this effect and includes all individuals involved in the sport, for example volunteers, coaches, administrators, officials and players.

Deaf Sports Australia has a strong history of leading and advocating positive and proactive change in community attitudes and social policy and we are committed to ensuring that opportunities to participate in sport are accessible to all Australians.

With our capacity to lead such change and an ability to engage a range of non-traditional participants, including women, indigenous communities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds we look forward with confidence including more people who are deaf or hard of hearing actively participating in sports within Australia.

Accordingly Deaf Sports Australia is dedicated to making it easy for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to participate in sports and has developed the MOU Partnership Programs which has been established by the Australian Sports Commission.

The MOU Partnership Program also provides education opportunities for National and State Sports Associations to build capacity and promote awareness in order to offer sports participation opportunities to deaf and hard of hearing participants.

If you are looking to get involved with a sport as a player, coach or official there are a number of options available to suit your needs.

Athletes can choose to participate in deaf specific sporting competitions or mainstream sporting competitions.

Getting started is easier than you think. There are opportunities for all age groups and skill and fitness levels. To find out more about participating in your area, please contact Deaf Sports Australia.

DSA Athlete Eligibility Policy

The Athlete Eligibility Policy applies to all deaf and hard of hearing athletes who wish to participate in national and international sanctioned deaf sporting events.

International Deaf Sporting events such as the Deaflympic Games bring together deaf and hard of hearing athletes from around the globe.

Many athletes have varying levels of hearing losses and the International Sports Committee for the Deaf (ICSD) have established a criteria under the Audiogram Regulations for these deaf and hearing impaired athletes wishing to compete at sanctioned international deaf sporting events.

The ICSD Audiogram Regulations can be read or downloaded by clicking here.

As a result of the ICSD Eligibility criteria, Deaf Sports Australia developed the Athlete Eligibility Policy to provide and to ensure fair participation for all deaf and hard of hearing participants in ISCD, DSA sanctioned events and National Sporting Organisation controlled events.

Hearing Level Loss

Eligibility

0 – 39 dB 3FAHL

Not eligible to compete in DSA or ICSD approved events

40 – 54 dB 3FAHL

Eligible to compete in DSA approved events( e.g. Australian Deaf Games, National Deaf Championships and School controlled events)  ***

55 dB or more 3FAHL

Eligible to compete in AU1 events plus ICSD approved events( eg. Deaflympic Games, World Deaf Championships) and Australian National Sporting Organisation controlled events

*** Please note Swimming Australia (SAL) has adopted the AU2 classification for all SAL controlled events – their equivalent classification is S15. Therefore individuals who are classified as AU1 will compete in SAL controlled events as hearing swimmers.

It is suggested that on registering for an event the AU1 swimmer outlines his/her hearing loss and that there is a need for inclusion support - participation should be facilitated.

 

Current and former athletes who have submitted their Audiograms and qualified at international deaf sporting events will not need to re-submit the forms again.

In order to find out if you meet the Eligibility Criteria or need to complete the Classification Card process set out by Athletics Australia, Swimming Australia and other sports including Cycling, you will need to download the DSA Audiogram Form, and have it completed by your Audiologist.

The completed form then needs to be sent to DSA via email on irena.farinacci@deafsports.org.au or via fax on (03) 9473 1122.

Alternatively, you can forward DSA the latest copy of your Audiogram form – it must not be older than 12 months.

The forms can only be submitted ONCE. If you have done this before, you will not need to do another one. However if you are not sure, contact Deaf Sports Australia for verification.

 

There is no general age limit for competitors. However, age restrictions may apply for specific sports or events - the list of age eligibility for each sport can be downloaded here.