Enhancing Inclusivity in Coaching: Insights from the Persons with Disabilities

The Persons with Disabilities Member Resource Group (MRG) of the International Coach Federation (ICF) recently hosted a panel discussion named “Disabilities Advocacy in Coaching: Latin America and the Caribbean Panel Discussion” that focused on the role of coaches as allies for individuals with disabilities. This discussion provided valuable insights into how coaches can be allies in their practice and daily life.

Statistics on Disabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean

Before delving into the discussion’s key takeaways, it’s essential to understand the context. According to the World Bank, Latin America and the Caribbean have a significant population of persons with disabilities. In this region, approximately 15% of people live with some form of disability, making it clear that disability is a prevalent and often underrepresented issue. Understanding the scope of this challenge is a critical first step in becoming an ally.

Coaches with Disabilities

The panel discussion emphasized that coaches themselves, like anyone else, can have disabilities.The discussion highlighted the importance of acknowledging this fact, as it helps in challenging stereotypes and promoting diversity within the coaching profession.


Invisible Disabilities

It is essential to recognize that not all disabilities are visible. Many disabilities, such as chronic pain, are not immediately apparent. Being sensitive to the needs of these clients is an essential aspect of being a supportive ally.


Everyone Can Experience Disability

Disability is not something that solely affects a specific group of people. It is a part of the human experience. We can all, at some point in our lives, encounter disabilities, whether due to aging, injury, or other factors. This realization underscores the importance of creating inclusive environments, where we all work together to ensure that everyone has equal access to opportunities.


Key Takeaways

  1. Awareness and Education: The panel emphasized the importance of raising awareness and educating coaches on the diverse spectrum of disabilities. It is crucial to understand that disabilities are not limited to physical visible impairments.
  2. Accessibility: The discussion underlined the need for accessible coaching practices. This involves making coaching materials, platforms, and sessions accessible to individuals with various disabilities, ensuring that everyone can benefit from coaching services.
  3. Collaboration and Networking: Coaches are encouraged to collaborate with organizations and advocates focused on disabilities. Networking with disability support groups and professionals can help coaches gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the disability community.


Resources available

For the members of the Persons with Disabilities MRG of the ICF, the discussion is available in various formats, making it accessible to as many people as possible. The replay of the discussion, the plain-text transcript, and the time-stamped versions of the transcript are available in both English and Spanish. This ensures that the valuable insights from the panel can reach a broader audience and be a valuable resource for coaches looking to gain a deeper understanding of the key insights shared during the panel.



As coaches we have a unique opportunity to be allies, promoting inclusivity and equity. This role of allyship is not confined to our coaching practice, it transcends into our daily lives.
Let us collectively work to create an environment where diversity is celebrated and where every different capability is cherished.

Together, we can build a more inclusive and equitable world that benefits us all.


Learn more about the author of this article, Chiara Lo Coco, ACC, at her website at this link


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