Only 47% of survey responders said that local services and playspaces were accessible to disabled children and young people.
KIDS is the charity that works with disabled children, young people and their families. To celebrate Playday 2013, KIDS wanted to examine how inclusive play for disabled children has progressed over the past two years.
A survey of over 900 people working across play and leisure provision and disability services in England, found that although attitudes towards including disabled children and young people in mainstream activities has improved, most providers still do not have the resources or support needed to deliver good quality inclusion. As a result, parents are not confident to leave their children in mainstream services and are preferring to place their children with specialist providers. This lack of choice is further excluding disabled children and young people from their communities at a period when all children are experiencing a restriction in their ability to play out in their local area.
Parents of disabled children who responded to the survey expressed concerns that disabled children are more likely to be victims of bullying and face further isolation. The report, released today, highlights the main concerns preventing disabled children from accessing local play and leisure provision, and some ideas on how to address these. Disabled children and young people have a right to play out with their non-disabled peers too and would benefit from a larger range of options when choosing how to spend their play and leisure time.
KIDS works across England. The charity has also pioneered a range of approaches for working with disabled children including Portage (home learning), Direct Short Breaks and England’s first inclusive adventure playground.