• Factors Affecting the Participation of Physically Disabled Children and Young People in Out of-School Activities in the United Kingdom: A Qualitative Study

      Knight, Kate; Greenop, Daz; Vickerman, Philip; Porcellato, Lorna; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores
      Physically disabled children and young people (PDC&YP) face many challenges when participating in out-of-school activities. PDC&YP should have the same choices and opportunities as other C&YP; to forge friendships locally and to access out-of-school activities (Knight et al., 2013). However PDC&YP have fewer opportunities than their non-disabled peers due to challenges such as access, support and suitable provision. This multi-method qualitative study examined the factors affecting participation of PDC&YP in out-of-school activities. The perspectives of PDC&YP and parents were sought using a range of data collection tools. These included interviews, focus groups and creative focus groups with 13 PDC&YP and 19 parents. Play-based creative focus groups were specifically designed for PDC&YP aged 7 to 17 years. The study demonstrated that PDC&YP enjoy specialist disabled activities to meet others ‘like them’ but want more local opportunities to do this. Some PDC&YP and parents felt they were not disabled enough for ‘disabled’ activities but not able enough for mainstream. PDC&YP requiring personal care were a ‘hidden’ group who are at risk of missing out on experiences that they are entitled to. The study concludes by presenting the need to improve provision through disability awareness training and a co-ordinated partnership approach to be employed by the local authority to raise the profile of disability and ‘bridge the gap’ between service users and service providers. The social needs of children require the same focus and attention to aid their wellbeing and to enhance out-of-school lives.