Participation in Leisure Activities as an Indicator of Inclusion: A Comparison between Children with and without Disabilities in Portugal

Journal Article

Participation is recognised as an important indicator of school inclusion and educational success of children with and without disabilities and one of the fundamental human rights. In particular, the participation in leisure activities plays a vital role in children’s life and needs to be given a higher attention. The aim of the present exploratory study was to reflect on the inclusion of children with disabilities in Portuguese schools, by portraying and comparing their participation profiles in leisure activities to those of typically developing peers. The participation patterns in leisure activities of 61 children with disabilities and 114 children without disabilities were assessed. Results indicate that the pattern of participation of children with and without disabilities differs whether they are school or community-based activities. Regarding school-based activities, findings reveal that children with disabilities participate more frequently in these activities, but in solitary and constrained spaces at school compared to children without disabilities. For community contexts, our findings indicate that children with disabilities participate in less diverse activities than children without disabilities. In addition, the range of activities is correlated to their level of independence. This exploratory study contributes to an understanding of the pattern of participation of children with and without disabilities

Manuela Sanches-Ferreira

Manuela Gomes

Bárbara Santos

Pedro Lopes-dos-Santos


Ano da publicação: 2019


ISSN: 2165-8714

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