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Factors affecting the participation of physically disabled children and young people in out-of-school activities in Cheshire.

Knight, K (2019) Factors affecting the participation of physically disabled children and young people in out-of-school activities in Cheshire. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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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 in Cheshire. The perspectives of PDC&YP, parents and service providers who plan and run mainstream activities were sought using a range of data collection tools. This included interviews, focus groups and creative focus groups with 63 participants across two studies. Study one included the service users: 13 PDC&YP and 19 parents, whilst study two comprised of service providers: 11 activity planners and 20 volunteers. Play-based creative focus groups were specifically designed for PDC&YP aged 7 to 17 years. Study one 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 certainly at risk of missing out on experiences that they are entitled to. This group of PDC&YP across the UK need significant attention as the picture in Cheshire gives only a snapshot of the possible limited provision nationwide. Findings from study two highlighted that service providers had a mix of experiences but most lacked disability awareness but wanted and needed training. Collectively the two studies show that independence, health benefits and role models are facilitators in to out-of-school activities but there are still several challenges to overcome such as access, communication issues and a mismatch of expectations. The study concludes by presenting the need to improve provision in Cheshire 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.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Physical disability; Children; Young People; Activities; Participation; Out-of-school
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV697 Protection, assistance and relief > HV888 Children with disabilities
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2019 15:23
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 13:59
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00010840
Supervisors: Porcellato, L, Vickerman, P and Greenop, D
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10840
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