Knowledge Exchange Forum hosted by Loughborough University London

On 18-19 March 2021, Loughborough University London convened a virtual Knowledge Exchange Forum to trade perspectives between partners and stakeholders working on the Para Sport Against Stigma project.

Over 50 researchers, practitioners and Paralympians from Germany, Ghana, France, Malawi, the UK, Zambia and Zimbabwe shared experiences and engaged in discussions on Para sport, Assistive Technology (AT) and disability inclusion.

President of the International Paralympic Committee, Andrew Parsons presented the impact the Paralympic broadcast had on perception change in Brazil in a keynote address and Paralympians Sam Ruddock (GB, Para-cycling) and Nyasha Mharakurwa (Zimbabwe, wheelchair tennis) conversed on pathways into Para sport and the impact of AT. Panellists also included representatives from Hogan Lovells, TV Media Sport, National Paralympic Committees in Ghana, Malawi and Zambia, communication for social change NGOs based in Malawi, and AT providers.

Learnings and insights from the forum will be used to guide research and project implementation.

Para Sport Against Stigma is an innovative project that looks at how representation, education and communication in Para sport can break down barriers to stigma to support access and adoption of assistive technology.

Para Sport Against Stigma is part of AT2030, a programme funded by UK Aid and led by the Global Disability Innovation (GDI) Hub. AT2030 will test 'what works' to improve access to assistive technology and will invest £20m to support solutions to scale. With a focus on innovative products, new service models, and global capacity support, the programme will reach 9 million people directly and 6 million more indirectly to enable a lifetime of potential through life-changing assistive technology.

To read more about the Para Sport Against Stigma, please visit our dedicated webpage here.