The FIA Community supports International Day of Persons with Disabilities | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

The FIA Community supports International Day of Persons with Disabilities

03.12.20

On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, high-profile personalities, mobility-impaired competitors, volunteers and officials from the motor sport family came together to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities in all spheres of society, sharing positive messages on social media to empower people with mobility impairment. For this special day, the FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission is also proud to be launching three #PurposeDriven initiatives to further promote and support those with disabilities in the world of motor sport and mobility.

The FIA Disability and Accessibility Scholarship

In the first two years since its inauguration, the work of the D&A Commission has focused on making motor sport more accessible to those who compete in the sport. However, this year the Commission is starting to focus on other aspects of the sport where disabled people are under-represented. 

The FIA D&A Scholarship will give the opportunity to a young disabled person to undertake an internship at the FIA on the engineering or administrative activities of the D&A Commission, both in the Sport and Mobility areas.

As an organisation, the FIA recognises that opportunities in all aspects of motor sport are limited for those that have specific access requirements due to a disability. Therefore, the role will be fulfilled by either working in the Geneva offices or by working remotely from the intern’s home country; applicants must have a disability that presents a mobility issue in order to be considered.

“I’m so excited about this scholarship,” says Nathalie McGloin, President of the FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission. “Being a full-time wheelchair user, I know the barriers that exist in all aspects of life for those with disabilities. When I was offered the role as the D&A Commission President, I knew the FIA was serious about making motor sport more accessible. From the beginning of my time here, people have not only supported the policies we are creating to facilitate more accessibility within the sport, but also as a disabled individual working for the organisation, all of my access needs have always been catered for at every level. Having the FIA be so proactive by representing the disabled people in our sport with this annual scholarship makes a big commitment to really changing the face of motor sport for disabled people. I can’t wait to start working with the person who steps into this role to really start proving that all aspects of motor sport are for everyone.”

Since the creation of the D&A Commission, the President of the FIA, Jean Todt, has given his full support to making motor sport more accessible to those with disabilities without compromising on safety.

Details for applications to the FIA D&A Scholarship will be communicated at the beginning of 2021.  

 

The FIA Disability Sport Action Award

The FIA D&A Commission wants to show support to those who are setting up sustainable initiatives or programmes that contribute to enhancing motor sport participation opportunities for persons with disabilities.

The FIA Disability Sport Action Award will recognise companies, organisations or individuals who are promoting or facilitating disabled participation in any aspect of motor sport. Criteria for the nominations will include any initiative created to increase disabled participation, awareness, or products designed specifically for disabled motor sport. The award will be presented during the FIA Prize Giving at the end of each year.

Nathalie McGloin said:, “To create a lasting legacy of inclusivity for disabled people in our sport, we need big companies and organisations to come on board and support the FIA’s mission. Change of this scale needs to start at the grassroots level by making our disabled children believe that they have a place in motor sport. Companies and organisations can change this landscape at the national level by helping us create an opportunity of inclusion for disabled people of all ages. This award will act as a catalyst for change and we want to recognise and reward those people who are making accessible motor sport a reality.”

 

The FIA Disabled Driver Database

This initiative, implemented in partnership with the International Transport Forum (ITF), aims at providing a global database of disabled driving regulations for motorists. For many people with disabilities, the use of their own car remains fundamental to independent mobility. Yet, while most people with disabilities are familiar with the rules and practices in their own country, they are unlikely to know what applies in another country to which they may want to travel, as tourists or on business.

Nathalie McGloin said, “The Disabled Parking database in conjunction with the ITF will be such an invaluable tool for disabled tourists. The rules around disabled parking are not the same in different countries and this can cause added stress for disabled people when planning vacations or business trips. Having all the rules and regulations of disabled parking in the different countries all in one place will ensure disabled travel is as easy and enjoyable as it is for those without disabilities. It’s another positive step forward from the FIA to make global mobility safer and more accessible for disabled people.

 

With the input of FIA Member Clubs from around the globe and ITF Member states, the FIA will be launching a public website in the first quarter of 2021 to ensure drivers with mobility impairments can travel and drive abroad in confidence.

 

The FIA continues to support the safe and appropriate use of disabled parking bays. The FIA’s advocacy campaign around this, entitled ‘Would You?’ can be found below.

https://www.fia.com/files/would-you-disabled-parking-advocacy-video

 

More information and announcements about the above initiatives will be provided to Clubs and will be made available through the FIA Disability and Accessibility Instagram account as well as on the FIA website.