Implementing disabled children’s right to leisure and recreation

Child's hand holding a ball in a ball pool
We study opportunities and obstacles for meaningful leisure time from a child perspective. FlairImages

Disabled children have the right to leisure and recreation, but studies have shown that it can be difficult for them to find suitable activities. This applies, for example, to children with neuropsychiatric disabilities. In this research project we study opportunities and obstacles for a meaningful leisure time from a child perspective. The study is conducted in collaboration with Funkis - an indoor play space run by YMCA in Linköping, Sweden.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities state that children with disabilities have the right to leisure and recreation that allows for inclusion and participation in society. Follow-ups show that there are shortcomings in this area and that children with neuropsychiatric disabilities face difficulties in exercising their right. This research project therefore examines how the right to leisure is implemented in practice, at FUNKIS - an indoor play space aimed at children (3-11 years of age) with neuropsychiatric disabilities. Children's activities and experiences, and the possibilities and obstacles of meaningful leisure time, are studied from a child perspective. FUNKIS is run by YMCA Linköping, in cooperation with Linköping municipality, Östergötland county council, disability organizations and parents. The research is planned and performed in close cooperation with these parties.


The first of three sub-studies aims at studying the FUNKIS project per se, the visions, principles and practices informing the management and everyday operations. The second sub-study investigates parents' previous experiences of the children's opportunities for leisure, and their views on FUNKIS in relation to the family's situation and the needs of their child. The third sub-study focuses on the children visiting FUNKIS. It aims to explore and understand how they perceive and engage in activities, and thus what a targeted operation of this kind can offer in terms of meaningful leisure time. The research project will provide new and in-depth knowledge of disabled children's experiences and their opportunities for participation in leisure activities and in society. It will hence contribute to the work on further implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Sweden.

KFUM/Funkis
www.kfum-funkis.se

The research project
Implementing disabled children’s right to leisure and recreation – A study of activities and participation in an indoor play space for young children with neuropsychiatric disabilities.

Funded by
The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare.


Researchers in the project
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Child Studies
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