Category: Blogger's Corner, Disabilities, success, healthcare and pharmaceutical, fitness
Health and Fitness Educator says Learning Disability is no barrier to success
According to the Office for Disability Issues over 11 million people in Great Britain have a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability and yet people with disabilities are majorly underrepresented in the health and fitness industry. This is something fitness educator and 2015 Active Training Awards finalist Danielle Sharrock is keen to change. Danielle is a tutor for Lancashire-based health and fitness educators HFE, as well as working as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. In her job supporting students in their studies, she has worked with people with depression, Asperger’s syndrome and dyslexia as well as a wheelchair user and a blind student. Through personal experience, she understands how rewarding a career in fitness can be and is passionate to ensure any individual has the opportunity to succeed in the fitness sector if they have the motivation.
Her work recently involved supporting Joanne, a student with Down’s syndrome, in achieving her Level 2 Exercise to Music Certificate. Danielle says of her student’s success: “Don’t believe that just because you have a disability you can’t succeed. Joanne started working as a general assistant in a Manchester gym and wanted to make more of herself. We worked together for eight months and she has now secured work as a group fitness instructor, alongside her general assistant role. We offered her the flexibility to re-sit her practical and theory assessments where necessary. Where courses usually take place over a weekend, we were able to break them down into stages, allowing her to complete every exam individually.”
Danielle maintains that this flexibility and support should also extend into the workplace: “Joanne had people in her environment that supported her goals, which helped. It is up to the individual whether or not they choose to let their employers know about their condition. With equality policies in place there are more employees willing to take on employees with learning difficulties.” It is Danielle’s hope that more people are encouraged to work in this industry, asserting that inspiring others to achieve their goals is one of the most rewarding parts of working in fitness.
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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work
environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your
diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email
[email protected] for more information.
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