Social exclusion and access to leisure in Northern Ireland communities: examining the experiences of parents with disabled children

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This paper critically considers the Quebec Declaration’s (2008) statement that leisure can be a powerful tool for developing social capital and improving communities in the context of families containing disabled children. Disabled families continue to be excluded and marginalised within their communities. However statement and policies report suggest that leisure can play a key role in tackling exclusion. This paper critically analyses whether leisure can contribute to social inclusion and the development of social capital amongst families with disabled children. Data has been collected from 32 parents of children who have a disability or disabilities located in an urban area of Northern Ireland. The research examines parents’ experiences of inclusion and exclusion with regard to leisure access. The paper illustrates that whilst accessing inclusive leisure opportunities may begin to address some of the issues preventing families from feeling part of their local communities, leisure access alone cannot address the full range of barriers preventing inclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-249
Number of pages29
JournalLoisir et Societe
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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