Communication as a Factor for Uptake of Intraorganizational Accessibility and Inclusivity Initiatives


Of the more than 6.2 million Canadians living with a disability, many find gaining access to inclusive sport, exercise, and physical activity challenging. The Leading Equitable Accessible Delivery (LEADTM) is a self-assessment tool designed to support the implementation of accessible and inclusive changes within sport, exercise, and physical activity organizations. Communication (e.g., methods and channels) plays an important role in the successful implementation of organizational initiatives. However, little is known about how communication influences LEAD implementation. This study aimed to examine communication as a factor influencing the uptake of new accessibility and inclusivity initiatives within sport organizations and understand how communication within organizations' networks facilitates or hinders the implementation of the LEAD. Organizations (n=2) which have finished the LEAD were recruited to complete a network survey with quantitative and qualitative items. The survey captured organizational networks comprised of individuals who work within the sport organizations at various leadership levels. Quantitative data were investigated using a social network analysis. Qualitative data was subjected to inductive thematic analysis then mapped onto the network to provide insight into how communication within organizations influences the sharing of accessibility and inclusion information. Network results demonstrated mutually beneficial communication across both general staff and leadership staff, indicating strong communication and ties to three general themes: organizational culture, organizational resources, and organizational support. Understanding how ideal communication efforts within organizations influences uptake of accessibility and inclusion initiatives, namely the LEAD, will provide future guidance and improvements to accessibility efforts within sport, exercise, and physical activity realms.