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DTN: Advice to parents?

Archie: Ask questions. There are no bad questions. Other parents are your greatest resource. Be open-minded. Allow yourself to look at things differently. Get to know what resources are available to you. Let your kids try. Try not to limit your expectations based on your own notions of what they can or can’t do. Let them play. Let them experience or get exposed to a new sport. Be there. Stay and watch the great things that are happening. Talk to the coach or program leader about how you can be involved.

DTN: How about for parents who don’t have access to Variety Village?

Archie: Call us. Ask us for advice. We have fielded calls from across Canada, across the U.S. and as far

away as Japan. We have partners in other regions that we can direct parents to. Come visit us and take part in a program to learn more about how you can help your child in your community. Networking is key for both parent and child.

I’ve met so many kids who inspire me by doing things every day that I wish I could do. If there’s one com- monality between these kids, it is parents, or a parent, who have sup- ported them all the way. But these parents started like any other parent of a child with a disability with a lack of resources or information. But they educated themselves, advocated for their kids and now are big fans.

DTN: Is sport and recreation truly an aspect of life where “no one needs to be left behind”?

Archie: I believe that any sport can be adapted. No one, regard- less of level of disability, needs to be left on the sidelines. Too often parents or program leaders get stuck in the notion of the tradition- al way the sport is played. Kids just want to play and I believe any sport can be adapted so kids can play with their peers. It comes down to the willingness to try different activities.

Sports like boccia and power wheelchair hockey can accommo- date participants with varied abil- ities. It’s important to remember that sport for kids is also about the chance to make friends and have fun. If there is an interest, there is an opportunity.

For more on Variety Village visit their media channel on the Disability Today Network at www.disability or


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