Getting active with a disability
Taking part in activities is important for all young people, including young people with disabilities or difficulties. It’s your chance to get out, get active and get involved with other people. And, most importantly, have some fun!
Different types of groups
Most clubs and groups for young disabled people also welcome their carers, family and friends. They are often called ‘inclusive’ because they include people of different abilities.
Some activities are for young people with certain types of disabilities, while others can support young people with different difficulties and disabilities to take part. What is available will depend on what your disability is, and what the activity can offer.
The best way to find out what support an activity can offer is to get in touch and ask.
Sports and activities right for you
There are lots of groups in Oxfordshire which provide social and other activities for young disabled people. You may already know about some of them, but it never hurts to find out about more!
A good start is to ask your local Sports and Leisure Centres or Young People's Centre about clubs and classes on offer. There’s also plenty of other organisations in Oxfordshire that provide clubs or support that include disabled young people in sports and other active pursuits
You find activities by searching for them. You can search for particular things, e.g. riding for the disabled or activities for people with autism, or you can do more general searches, e.g. for disabled, inclusive, disabilities. You can search for anything you want, but you must spell the word right.
Most activities listed will say whether they are:
- disabled accessible: This means that there is disabled access to the activity. But it might not mean that everywhere or everything is accessible, and it might not provide the support you need.
- disabled inclusive: This means that the activity is able to welcome young people with disabilities or difficulties. But they might not be able to provide support for all types of disability, or for all of their activities.
They will also give more information about the support they can offer young people with disabilities and difficulties. You might find special equipment listed here, or special groups or activities.
Whatever information the activity has provided, it’s always a good idea to phone ahead and talk through what you might need, and what the activity can provide.
- OXSRAD - The integrated sports and leisure centre with a youth club and lots of sporting and other activities, accessible to all.
- KEEN Oxford - Kids Enjoy Exercise Now provides sporting and recreational activities for children and young adults with special needs in Oxfordshire.
- You can also find lists of clubs and contacts on Oxfordshire Sports Partnership, which offers everything from wheelchair tennis to football for visually impaired young people.
- Stingray Night Club - My Life My Choice presents Stingray Night Club for people who have a learning disability. Aged 18+
- PHAB provides integrated social clubs in Oxford, Abingdon, Banbury and Thame with activities and holidays.
- Fuse Youth Group Didcot – 01235 812332 - is a general youth club session for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities. Tuesdays 4.15pm-7.30pm
- Buddies 2, Abingdon – 01869 252905– a youth Club for young people with learning difficulties and physical/mental disabilities. Activities, trips out and much more. 11-17 years. Wednesdays 7-9pm, term time only.
- Guideposts Trust – 01993 893560 – friendship matching and fun activities for children and young people with learning disabilities.
Dance, arts and other activities
- Anjali Dance Company – 01295 251909 – groups throughout the county for young people with learning disabilities, and inclusive contemporary dance classes.
- The Parasol Project – 01865 742816 – is an Oxford-city-based project that runs inclusive youth and dance groups during term time and activity days during holidays for ages 13-19.
- Sailability at Farmoor reservoir – 01865 862386 – provides sailing for young people with learning or physical disabilities.
- Yellow Submarine - 01865 236 119 - offers holiday clubs and residential trips to children and young people with mild to moderate learning disabilities and/or autism in Oxfordshire. Please contact us for further details.
You can also find lists of groups and activities on Activities Oxfordshire, offering inclusive activities from riding to fishing. Search for "disability", "disabled" or "inclusive". The Family Information Service has also produced a directory full of information, advice activities and service for those young people with a disability, SEN or additional needs.
Can't find what you want? Don't give up!
If you can't find the activity you want, ask one of the groups you have contacted if they can help you access that activity locally, or provide funding to travel to where you need to be. If there are a few people who all want the same thing, you may even be able to start your own club.
Find out more…
- www.disabilitysport.org.uk Massive website about sports for people with disabilities
- www.wheelpower.org.uk Helps people with disabilities achieve their sporting dreams
- www.bbc.co.uk/ouch The BBC's community and action site for people with disabilities
- ENRYCH helps to identify a person’s leisure or learning preference and, together, establishes personalised outcomes
- Disability Living Foundation is a national charity that provides impartial advice, information and training on daily living aids
Record managed by Activities Oxfordshire