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UK Coaching Team
Supporting Specific Needs

Five Things to Remember When Coaching Wheelchair Users

Practical tips for including people with physical impairments in your coaching sessions

In general, communicating with people with a physical impairment is exactly the same as with any other person.

However, there are special considerations coaches should be aware of that will help them support wheelchair users in their sessions to make them feel more comfortable and confident.

  1. Only a very small percentage of wheelchair users cannot mobilise without their wheelchair. Help  your participant to make their own choices of if/when they want to use it. Do not assume.
  2. Some wheelchair users consider their wheelchairs to be part of their personal space so you should avoid touching or resting on it, as you would avoid touching or resting on an individual.
  1. When talking to a wheelchair user, do so from a position that is comfortable for both of you – sitting on a chair at the same eye level as the other person is often the simplest way.
  2. Do not move someone in their wheelchair without asking them first.
  3. Do not hang your coat or bag on the back of someone’s wheelchair. 

Related Resources

  • Wheelchair Basketball Changed Her Life, Now Anna is Changing the Lives of Others

  • Para Guiders: Jenny Archer

  • How to Coach Disabled People in Sport


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UK Coaching Team