The International Surf Therapy Organization (ISTO) values human diversity and inclusion as core values to support creativity and innovation in programming, and optimal conditions for participants of surf therapy programs to pursue a greater sense of well-being and mental health.

We want to build our community to be truly representative of all sections of society in which every individual feels respected and able to give of their best. ISTO’s mission is to create greater access to safe, inclusive, evidence-based surf therapy by connecting people, and expanding perspectives. Activating our mission means that everyone is welcome here.

Diversity is all the ways that people are different and the same at the individual and group levels. Organizational diversity requires ensuring that multiple perspectives are represented.

Equity means that all have equal access to opportunities, which may require accommodations to ensure access. Equity requires recognizing past exclusion and achieving genuine inclusion.

Inclusion means an environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; are valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; have equal access to resources and opportunities; and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.

To that end, this policy provides a framework of equality and fairness. It expresses our commitment not to discriminate on the grounds of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marital status (including civil partnerships), race, ethnic origin, color, nationality, national origin, religion, belief, and sexual orientation. We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.

All staff, board members, and contributors will be treated fairly and with respect. The selection for engagement will be based on aptitude and ability. All individuals will be encouraged to develop their full potential. The talents and resources of the community will be fully utilized to maximize the organization's creativity and success.

We will:

  • Actively seek to increase the number of people we work with from groups/communities underrepresented in the surf therapy/surf industry as a whole, or in particular roles in the industry.
  • Regularly review all our practices and procedures to ensure they are fair and help us to identify the best talent.
  • Identify and develop opportunities to increase meaningful roles for participants (and sometimes participants’ parents) and participant-lead initiatives within contributor programs and ISTO.
  • Actively work toward building and maintaining safe spaces free from intimidation, bullying, or harassment.

Breaches of the policy may be regarded as misconduct and could lead to terminating all affiliations with the International Surf Therapy Organization.