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  • 07 May 2014 00:00
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Disabled people want activities that connect with their everyday lives reveals EFDS report

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Disabled people are more likely to respond to activities that connect to their everyday values according to a new report from the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS). 

The in-depth findings in the Motivate Me report builds on the EFDS Lifestyle Report published in September 2013 that captured a wider picture of disabled people’s lives to understand how and where sport and exercise fits into their lives, their motivations and activity preferences. 

The latest report goes a step further and uses qualitative research, conducted by the agency 2CV, to provide a better understanding of the motivations of disabled people to be active. 

Fourteen disabled men and women aged 18 or over were involved in the study with various impairments, and within the wide spectrum from non-active to active. 

As well as face-to-face interviews with the disabled people involved, an online forum provided a place to ask participants to complete a set of specific tasks to feedback their experiences while 2CV interviewed eight experts across the sport, physical activity and medical sectors to gain additional views and experiences. 

The stark reality is that disabled people are still half as likely to be active as non-disabled people. 

Among the findings, the report identifies that the majority of current sport and physical activity initiatives aimed at disabled people are failing to engage audiences effectively because the opportunities and their promotion tend to focus on the audience’s disability or impairment and miss the emotional connection required to attract disabled people. 

The extent to which a disabled person identifies with being disabled varies greatly from one person to the next and for most disabled people within the report; their impairment does not drive their inspiration to be active.

"The study highlights that a great majority of disabled people are more likely to respond to opportunities to get active when they tap into the things that matter to them most,” said EFDS Chief Executive Barry Horne.

"These include the way they connect to their everyday values including: building friendships, maintaining health, becoming more independent and progressing in life.”

EFDS will build on the findings in this report to move on to join up provider and participant thoughts on the types of opportunities which disabled people would be interested in and attracted to. 

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