Research partnership focuses on families of disabled children

The national disability charity, Sense, has announced a three-year research project with ukactive’s Research Institute which seeks to better understand the needs of parents and families of disabled children.

Parents of disabled children are encouraged to feed back on the challenges they face when it comes to accessing sport and physical activity, by completing an online survey by Sunday 15 March.

The project will explore the barriers and motivations of the families, and also look at access to provision, the challenges of families being active together, the impact on siblings with no disability, and if there are differences between community and education provision.

Following the initial research, Sense will establish a national activity programme for disabled children and evaluate the impact of it on the child and the wider family.


Alissa Ayling, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at Sense, said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with ukactive and look forward to working together to learn more about the challenges faced by the families of children with complex disabilities.

“The results of this new research programme will be used to create a nationwide programme of sport and physical activity opportunities to help tackle the issue of inactivity.

“We know that children with complex disabilities often miss out on participating in sport and physical exercise, which is vital for staying healthy, learning new skills and making friends.

“It’s our goal to establish more sport and play opportunities for children with complex disabilities to be able to lead happy, healthy and active lives.”


Matthew Wade, Senior Researcher at ukactive, said: “Our new partnership with Sense marks an exciting new chapter in our work to better understand the inequalities facing families with disabled children who want to be more active.

“ukactive’s members want to create a level playing for all children, with opportunities for every child to be more active, no matter where they live or what disabilities they have.

“Through our research with Sense, we aim to produce evidence that will help make physical activities more accessible for every family and child.”

For more details about the project, contact ukactive’s Research Institute at To complete the survey, click here.