Disability Inclusion Research

Although access to physical activity and leisure is a human right, only 3% of people with disabilities (approximately 114,000 out of 3.8 million people) in Canada participate regularly. Persons with disabilities often experience significant and systemic barriers to participating in sport, and there is a need to better understand how sport can be made more inclusive for people with diverse abilities in B.C..

viaSport and the UBC School of Kinesiology have received 3-year federal funding through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to study disability inclusion in the B.C. sport sector. Under the leadership of Dr. Andrea Bundon, our Level the Field: Disability Inclusion in Sport research initiative combines UBC Kinesiology’s research expertise and viaSport’s applied knowledge in an effort to understand how the B.C. sport sector can be made more inclusive for people with disabilities.

There are two main projects under this research initiative:
 

1. Community Engagement

In order to understand how sport can be made more inclusive for persons with disabilities in B.C., we need to hear and learn directly from disability communities. This portion of the research involved reaching out directly to a range of people experiencing disability across multiple sectors(community living health, education etc.) and in multiple regions (isolated, rural, mid-size city).
 

What are the objectives?

Using community-based methods, we will work with five community organizations to learn from people experiencing disability across B.C.

  • To gain understanding of how and why persons with disability engage or do not engage in sport
  • To gain understanding of what would facilitate inclusive sport participation according to persons with disabilities

 

What are the initiatives? 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PARTICIPATION


The Family Support Institute of British Columbia, Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network & Disability Alliance British Columbia build and connect communities and resources with persons with disabilities.

Our survey aims to understand how these communities experience barriers to sport and how to improve future opportunities.

BC ABORIGINAL DISABILITY NETWORK


BC Aboriginal Disability Network serves the unique and diverse disability and health resource / support service needs of the Indigenous community.

Our research team will work with BC Aboriginal Disability Network and community members to run sharing circles focused on the SRPA experiences of Indigenous persons living with disabilities.

LANGLEY ASSOCIATION FOR COMMUNITY LIVING


Langley Association for Community Living supports more than 400 children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.

Our research team will work with Langley Association for Community Living to understand the SRPA experiences and inform ideal futures of persons with disabilities in their community.

 

2. Sport Sector Engagement

In order to understand how sport can be made more inclusive for persons with disabilities, we need to understand what opportunities already exist, and how sport organizations can be supported to deliver high quality opportunities for participation in B.C..
 

What are the objectives?

Using a number of methods, we will work with Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO) and Disability Sport Organizations (DSO) in B.C.

  • To gain understanding of how DSOs and PSOs currently support opportunities for sport participation for persons with disabilities in B.C.
  • To gain understanding of how DSOs and PSOs could facilitate increased inclusion in sport for persons with disabilities in B.C.

 

What are the initiatives?

SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS


In 2018, researchers conducted over 30 interviews with individuals working for Provincial, Disability or Mulit-sport Organizations.

The results and themes from these interviews will be shared throughout Spring and Summer 2019.

ORGANIZATIONAL TYPOLOGY TESTING & REFINEMENT


Developed in partnership with viaSport and researchers, a typology, or definitions of the ways in which PSOs/DSOs in B.C. are currently servicing people with a disability, was developed. Tested as part of organizations funding evaluation, the typology will be refined to have better articulated requirements and expectations for all funded organizations in the B.C. sport sector.