FINDING DISABILITY FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR CHILD
Keeping your child entertained and stimulated is a huge priority for any parent. When your child has a physical disability, this priority can suddenly become an obstacle. Our telehealth nurse, Amy, is familiar with this scenario as her twin boys have cerebral palsy and autism. “I try to focus on taking my kids anywhere and seeing how it goes,” says Amy. However, she also tries to seek out activities that cater to her sons’ needs.
Kids in wheelchairs play basketball.While the emphasis on inclusion is big in the disability community, it’s important to acknowledge that making a space or activity accessible is not the only factor in creating a sense of belonging for your child. Understandably, a child with a disability and their families can feel like the odd ones out when finding fun activities.
Disability ‘friendly’ activities have improved significantly in recent years, and parents need not be overwhelmed when finding these resources.
Our telehealth nurse, Amy and her husband love sports and wanted their twins to be able to access the same opportunities as their older son, Hamish. Before you approach disability-specific outlets, it’s worth knowing that your local sports club (e.g., the local kids’ cricket team) may be keen to find a way to include your child in the team. If this isn’t an option, you can check out any of the following.
Here is a list of amazing events and activities for you and your child.
All Access Abilities
All Access Abilities (AAA) provides sports and recreational activities throughout Victoria, aimed at connecting people with disabilities (ages 6-17) to physical activities in their community. Their site provides an easy-to-use guide to help you find activities based on your child’s age, location, and interests.
Auskick provides all-access football sessions for all abilities, 18 and under. The NAB AFL Auskick program provides access to play centres throughout Victoria. To learn more or find a centre near you, visit their website.
Aqua Access 4 All
Aqua Access 4 All provides one-on-one sessions in a hydrotherapy pool, focusing on improving physical function while enriching the lives of the children they work with. The service is NDIS funded for eligible candidates. Please find out more on their website.
Disability Rock Climbing
Adaptive Climbing Victoria (ACV) allows people with disabilities to participate in rock climbing and creates a fun social outlet. They offer a range of activities, including come and try days, para climbing and casual meet-ups. You can learn more on their website.
Disabled Surfers Australia
DSA is an organisation we recently learned about from one of our members. DSA is a volunteer-based organisation that provides supervised surfing trips to people with disabilities. They operate throughout Victoria. Check out their Facebook page, or read about it in our recent article.
For wheelchair users who want to experience the fun of a swing, the Liberty Swing is the answer. The safely designed device can be accessed throughout parks in Australia; find your nearest swing here.
Melbourne Playgrounds provides a helpful list of all access playgrounds throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria. You can find out more on their website.
We Rock the Spectrum
We Rock the Spectrum is an all-inclusive gym with more locations coming to Victoria. The service aims to create a calm environment that allows children to play while promoting learning and growth. The sensory play equipment is designed by occupational therapists, and the service is NDIS funded. It offers activities such as party planning and caters to children of all abilities. To find out more, visit their website.
Zoos Victoria provides several accessibility options throughout their zoos, including wheelchair hire, welcoming assistance animals, guided mobile tours, and discounts to carers. Please find out more by visiting their website.
Hopefully, this has been a useful guide for families seeking disability-friendly activities for their kids. However, if you’re still seeking more information, contact email@example.com or call 03 9478 1001.