Disability barriers tackled through new partnership

We're joining forces with partners to remove the barriers preventing disabled people getting active

09 November 2017 News Facilities Research

A man with Down's syndrome lifts weights

Our own Active Lives research has shown that inactivity is more common among people with a disability (43%), than those without (21%). And it increases sharply as the number of impairments an individual has increases - more than half of those with three or more impairments are inactive.

A collaborative approach

We will be among a wide range of organisations, including ukactive, Disability Rights UK and the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS), working together to remove barriers to activity for disabled people.

Key to the success of this effort will be direct insight from disabled people themselves, who will help to build a picture of how and why they are being excluded from opportunities to be active.

There is strong enthusiasm for this approach:

"I look forward to the work the partnership will do to open up leisure facilities to all disabled people," says Kamran Mallick, CEO of Disability Rights UK. "It signals a positive change in approaches to engaging disabled people which we are really happy to see. On a personal level, I look forward to being able to go into leisure facilities and actually use the equipment and activities available."

In announcing the new partnership Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health, stressed the need to "create a cultural shift and change in perceptions around disabled people's participation in physical activity".

Testing new ideas

Partnerships have also been set up with some of the UK's biggest leisure operators, including PureGym and Virgin Active. These operators will create pilot sites where proposed changes to improve disabled people's use of their facilities will be tested and promoted.

ukactive, who will be heading this partnership, expect the first pilot sites to open in late 2018.