main in wheelchair on basketball court

Disability Inclusion

Disability Inclusion was a collaborative Participatory Action Research project aimed at identifying the barriers and opportunities for people with disabilities in sporting and recreational activities, as a response to social cohesion for community wellbeing as an emerging global area of policy concern.

The research was undertaken as a partnership between the Centre for Sport and Recreation Research and Inclusion WA – a dynamic organisation dedicated to enriching the lives of all people who may be disadvantaged, socially disengaged or living with a disability. The research informed Inclusion WA’s future decision-making by determining what support clubs need in order to be more inclusive of people with disabilities, and what support people with disabilities need to be able to successfully join ‘mainstream’ clubs.

The research team comprised academics from psychology, human rights education and sport and recreation, and three Inclusion WA staff, ensuring maximum transfer of learning to Inclusion WA.

The project identified difference based on ability and the Australian sporting ethos as the overarching barriers to inclusion. Inclusion as access to the club and as part of the culture of the club arose as primary opportunities.

This research has set important groundwork for the formulation of policy initiatives which focus on developing the cultural competence of sport and recreation clubs for inclusion of individuals with disability. The project has also served as a catalyst for the sustainable practice of disability inclusion and club development; Inclusion WA has begun documenting their learning and implications for developing and sustaining effective disability inclusion for both people with disabilities with whom they work, and mainstream sport and recreation clubs.

Principal Areas of Enquiry:

Management and Technology
Structural Adjustments and Changing Demographics

Lead Researchers:

Assoc. Prof. Brian Bishop - School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University
Dr Peta Dzidic - School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University
Dr Karen Soldatic - Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University
Professor Marian Tye - Centre for Sport and Recreation Research

Research Team:

Gaylene Galardi

Industry Collaborators

Paul Fleay – CEO at Inclusion WA

Claire Curr, Minerva Westbrook and Claire Jordan – Inclusion WA

Industry Partners

Disability Services Commission WA
Inclusion WA

Project Collection


Sport and Recreation Inclusion for People with Disabilities