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Inclusive recovery: "Include me as we return to activity" (Oct 2022)

Published by Activity Alliance, research undertaken by BritainThinks
Download Inclusive recovery full research report

This research report is released by Activity Alliance in partnership with BritainThinks. It explores how disabled people's motivations and barriers to be active have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic, and how providers can support and include disabled people better in the future.

EFDS106 Me Being Active 2017 Anoushe 2We worked with disabled people and our members to conduct this qualitative, in-depth exploration. It focused on how sport and activity providers responded and disabled people's experiences as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted. 

The study accompanies our Annual Disability and Activity Survey 2021-22.

Our research approach embedded the authentic voices of a diverse group of disabled people throughout the study. We conducted: 

  • A desk review of previous research.
  • Digital two-week online self-ethnography and accessible interviews with 36 disabled people with a range of impairment types and demographic backgrounds.
  • Consultation meetings with Activity Alliance members and a survey with 41 activity providers. 
  • A co-production workshop with 8 providers and 19 disabled people. 

Findings and recommendations

Key findings from the research show that most participants still want to be active after the pandemic, agreeing the benefit it brings to their lives. However, despite this desire to be active, the research found that disabled people are losing confidence in their access to activity opportunities. And, while the pandemic caused additional challenges for providers there is still a strong appetite among them to improve and grow.  

Activity Alliance brought research participants and providers together to develop recommendations based on the research findings. When wanting to be active, disabled people have three important asks: 

  1. Make it easier for me to find out how to be active again or where to continue my activity.
  2. Make me confident that the activity will be a safe, welcoming, and comfortable place for me to participate.
  3. Ensure opportunities are available that meet my needs and values. 

Download the 'Inclusive recovery' research report documents here: 

Research briefing event: Supporting an 'Inclusive recovery'

On Thursday 10 November 2022 at 11am BritainThinks and Activity Alliance will host a webinar to share the key findings and recommendations from this study. You can sign up for the event here.

Accessible formats

Please find below a summary of the research findings and recommendations in easy read format and British Sign Language translation.

Download easy read summary of inclusive recovery research report 

Watch BSL summary video of inclusive recovery research report 

For more information about the research please contact our team. Email the research team or call 01509 227750.