Inclusion Tips

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    Ensure you have an understanding of the participant’s ability

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    Explaining the rules and expectations. 

    It is important that everyone understands safety rules and what they are expected to do. 

    • Give participants a written list of Nippers rules to learn at home.
    • Support your spoken words with a visual form of communication.
    • Focus on what participants SHOULD do, rather than what they SHOULDN’T Do. 
    • Where possible, be flexible with rules so everyone can join in.
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    Joining a new group can be scary

    • Invite the participant and their family to visit the club before Nippers begins when it is quiet and calm.
    • Your club might consider hosting a “Have a Go” Day, where potential new Nippers can try out some activities and have a tour of the club.
    • Provide families with a copy of the What We Do At Nippers Video Series to watch at home.
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    Visual communication

    Many children are typically visual learners. Visual supports can be videos, photos, drawings or objects that give a clear explanation of an item or activity.

    We have created picture stories and videos which breakdown the steps for each activity.

    You can use these visuals:

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     Changing the way you speak

    • Speak slowly and clearly
    • Give instructions one at a time
    • Do not use idioms e.g “it’s raining cats and dogs”
    • Use a calm voice and do not shout
    • Use a child’s name at the beginning of an instruction
    • Use short sentences
    • Use visuals to support what you are saying
    • Check understanding – ask the child to show you what they have understood 

    “My daughter is still waiting to experience a day when it’s ‘raining cats and dogs’. She’s picked out the breed, the gender and the names of the ones she’ll catch.” – Myriam

  • Keep group sizes small and always assign groups

    • If you have over 10 participants, you could try splitting the group into smaller groups.
    • Assign groups yourself, don’t ask the children to self-select. Nobody wants to be picked last! 
    • You can assign groups by giving out numbers or colours to each child.
    • If a Nipper is attending for the first time, we recommend matching them with a buddy (preferably a Nipper or cadet), who can guide them through the activities and show them how to do things.
  • If there is a line, I wait my turn.

    Reduce waiting times and get started with activities as soon as possible

    • Waiting can be extra hard for children on the autism spectrum or with a disability. Try to keep waiting times to a minimum and think of activities where everyone can participate at the same time or running simultaneous activities so that everybody can participate. 
    • If there is a waiting period, nominate a “Distraction Person” within your team who can keep participants occupied and play some quick games such as Simon Says or some exercises, such as jumping jacks or stretches.




    Set up all activities and equipment in advance

    • Use brightly coloured cones and markers to lay out each activity. Participants should be able to understand what is required of them, by looking at the lay out of the activity.
    • Make it extra clear where the boundaries of the activity are.
  • Transitions

    Moving from one setting or activity to another can sometimes be challenging and routines typically play an important role in reducing stress.

    In Nippers, you can make transitioning between activities easier by preparing your participants in advance.

    • Stay consistent with the number of times each activity will be completed. For example, let your Nippers know that they will each do 3 sprints, and warn them when it is their last go.
    • Support transitions with a visual schedule. A visual schedule uses pictures of each activity so Nippers can see the activities they have completed and the ones they are about to complete. 
    • Avoid surprises by using a countdown to each activity. “Our next activity is Flags. Let’s all move to Flags in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – Let’s go.”
  • Take into account sensory sensitivities

    • Find out about possible sensory sensitivities from the parents and child.
    • Speak with parents to see what they can bring along that might help their child, such as a towel to sit on, or shoes to wear on the sand, or wet wipes to clean their hands after touching sand.
    • Emphasize where the shower is, so Nippers know they can immediately shower off the saltwater or sand afterwards.
    • Think of ways you can modify an activity, to take any sensitivities into account. For example, you might change the starting position of flags if a child doesn’t want to lie face down in the sand, or suggest they bring a towel to lie on.
    • Provide an alternative role or activity for anyone who really doesn’t want to participate.
Use visuals to support understanding for the whole group. Use visuals to support participation where there is a barrier to participation. Use visual supports to reinforce individual understanding of an activity. Use visuals to support parent understanding of an activity and encourage correct prompting. Parents and children can use visual aids at home to support understanding of Nippers activities in a quiet, familiar environment. Parents and children can view visual aids and videos on their smart phones or other devices for convenient access.