Integrated sports for people with learning disabilities offer benefits but barriers still exist


The authors of this study were interested in looking at the use of integrated sports as one strategy for promoting health and social participation of adolescents with learning disabilities.

They set out to improve understanding of the factors associated with such integration by carrying out individual interviews with 40 adolescents with learning disabilities and their parents. They also involved 39 rehabilitation staff through a discussion group or by asking them to complete self-administered questionnaires.

They analysed the findings through the framework provided by the Disability Creation Process (DCP) model

This model provides an explanatory framework of the causes and consequences of disease, trauma or other disruptions to a person’s integrity and development. It identifies the interactions between personal factors and environmental factors that may impact on accomplishments, and have implications for full social participation.

They found a range of personal and environmental factors that had an impact on integration in sports including attitudes, practical support, individuals’ experiences in sports and in integrated settings. Behaviour control was also found to be an important factor.

They conclude that integrated sports had offered many of benefits to the individuals with learning disability, their parents and non-disabled athletes, but that there were still many barriers to a wider realisation of these benefits for more people.

Enabling Integration in Sports for Adolescents with Intellectual Disabilities, Grandisson, M. et al., in Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 25: 217–230.

Share on Facebook Tweet this on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+
Mark as read
Create a personal elf note about this blog
Profile photo of John Northfield

John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

More posts

Follow me here –