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  • Writer's pictureGerry Monaghan

NOW Group provides specialist training for Irish FA


Matthew Gray (NOW ambassador), Jason Browning (Irish FA), Cheryl Ball (NOW Group) and Iain Van Maaren (NOW ambassador) announce the partnership.
Matthew Gray (NOW ambassador), Jason Browning (Irish FA), Cheryl Ball (NOW Group) and Iain Van Maaren (NOW ambassador) announce the partnership.

The Irish Football Association has partnered with NOW Group, a leading social enterprise, to provide specialised training to its staff in order to promote diversity and inclusion within the organisation.


Various members of staff, including coaches and development officers working in schools and local communities, recently completed neurodiversity awareness training. This training focused on identifying potential barriers to participation in football and providing practical solutions to overcome them.


This collaboration reflects the association's ongoing commitment to becoming a fully inclusive organisation that is accessible to all, including individuals with neurodiverse conditions or communication difficulties.


Jason Browning, the Irish FA Disability Access Officer, emphasized the importance of sport in bringing people together and the need to ensure its accessibility and inclusivity. He expressed the association's dedication to creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and can thrive. The goal is to extend the neurodiversity training to all staff members in the future.


NOW Group is an award-winning social enterprise that supports individuals with learning difficulties, autism, and other neurodiverse conditions in finding employment opportunities. Their services include training, employment support, family assistance, and social groups. They also initiated the JAM Card, which discreetly allows individuals with hidden disabilities to communicate their need for a minute of patience.


Cheryl Ball, Training Development Manager at NOW Group, highlighted the significance of businesses and organisations like the Irish FA leading the way in promoting accessibility, diversity, and inclusion. She emphasised that integrating these values at all levels is what makes an organisation exceptional and welcoming to everyone. NOW Group looks forward to collaborating with the rest of the Irish FA team and witnessing the positive impact of this work on all those involved with the association.


For more information on the work of NOW Group, visit www.nowgroup.org.

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