The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has signed up to a new participation initiative entitled Include Me West Midlands ©Birmingham 2022

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has signed up to a new participation and equality initiative, "Include Me West Midlands."

The initiative is part of a pledge to secure a more inclusive region, and it is facilitated by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in partnership with Sport England and disability charity Activity Alliance.

The aim of the pledge is to show disabled people, and those with long-term health conditions, that an organisation has made a commitment to support and consider how it can engage better with people from those groups.

The West Midlands, which includes Birmingham, is aiming to be one of the first regions to achieve widespread signing up to the initiative.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said he welcomed the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games signing up to the Include Me West Midlands (WM) pledge.

"This latest signing to Include Me WM helps raise the profile of this initiative which helps to challenge perceptions and change lives of disabled people," said Street.

"Having the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on board will help give disabled people, and people with long-term health conditions a voice to help improve access and opportunities across the West Midlands.

"In addition, it gives organisations the opportunity to contribute to making the region a better place to live.

"Include Me WM is an example of how all of us who work and live here have a part to play in the success of the West Midlands and how all of us can use our unique roles to deliver lasting change across our region."

Ian Reid, chief executive of Birmingham 2022, said: "Signing up to Include Me WM, which is such an important initiative for the region, further underlines our pledge to organise an accessible event and follows our recent unveiling of the Birmingham 2022 Accessibility and Inclusion Commitment.

"This commitment incorporates the Birmingham 2022 Inclusive Games Standard, which takes current legislation and existing regulations as a baseline and builds on these to create a new blueprint for accessibility standards at a Commonwealth Games and for major events being held in the West Midlands for years to come."

There are three main ways that Include me WM have advised organisations to use to try to engage with groups and understand ways to be more inclusive.

The first suggested method is titled Listen to Me, which refers to discussing needs in a safe and private environment and listening to thoughts and views on how to improve services.

The second suggested method is titled Show Me, which involves showing that disabled people are already undertaking activities and working within an organisation, to give others confidence to get involved.

My Channels is the third suggested method, which involves using the channels that are trusted to communicate with disabled people and those with long term health conditions.