Social activities for disabled adults

There are many ways in which adults with disabilities can make new friends, build social connections and get involved in their local community. You might surprised to discover just how many opportunities are out there! In this article, we outline the types of community activities available for adults with disabilities, and explain NDIS funding for social supports.

Opportunities in a supportive and inclusive environment

Everyone has the right to participate in their community and experience the benefits of social relationships. Social participation in community activities is an important part of a person’s NDIS plan. The benefits of socialising and sharing experiences with others include:

  • personal growth

  • improved self esteem, self confidence and sense of belonging

  • opportunity to improve physical health and overall well being

  • the chance to express oneself

  • improved mental health and a reduction in stress levels

Trying new social activities

Some people with disabilities might feel anxious at the thought of trying new activities and meeting people for the first time. Your interests may change over time, as you aged or when you are exposed to different opportunities.

Activities which you enjoy, offer learning and satisfaction and through which you can share will people are likely to bring the most joy. Participating in community activities is a great way to improve overall well being.

NDIS social support options

The NDIS allocates supports into three broad categories:

  • Core Supports budget

  • Capacity Building Supports budget

  • Capital Supports budget

Funding for social and community participation can be delivered through the core support or capacity building support streams. It can also include work and study supports.

In determining if a social support service or selected community activities can be funded through the NDIS, the following questions would be considered:

  • does the activity hep you achieve your goals?

  • is participation effective and beneficial?

  • is it legal and safe?

  • could the support be provided or funded by someone else?

Funding for social activities

An NDIS participant may be able to access funding to enable them to participate in social and community activities, where there are challenges to access because of the nature of their disability. Goals and targets for social participation can be detailed within an NDIS plan.

An NDIS participant may need help to find and have access to a club or group, or support to use transport to attend the club. They might require special or modified equipment to be able to enter the community venue where the club meets. They might need a support worker to attend the group with them to ensure they are able to fully participate. These types of supports can be funded in an NDIS plan.

Costs for joining in groups such as memberships and admission fees may not be covered as these are considered general costs.

Finding the right support worker

Some people with intellectual and physical disabilities may not have the confidence to explore the social opportunities that exist in the community. That’s where a great support worker comes in. The right support worker will help people with disabilities to explore the options, research activities for adults that are locally available and get involved in community activities.

Support workers can be the person who provides physical support, such as transport, or emotional support and encouragement to help a client try new community activities. Choosing the right NDIS provider can make a big difference.

Promoting good mental health

Social participation is a determinant for good mental health. People who have strong friendship and the chance to share experiences with others tend to be happier and healthier. Reducing social isolation can promote good mental well being. When people with disabilities have the chance to participate in social groups and meet like minded individuals, they are likely to be healthier and happier.

Equal opportunities to participate

It’s important that adults with disabilities feel welcome and included in the local clubs and groups they wish to attend. In some cases, some changes to access may need to be made for a person to feel fully included.

Assistive equipment and modified technologies can make it easier for people with physical disabilities to join in on activities and community classes. Helping a disabled person overcome barriers to inclusion is a critical part of support work and a crucial role a support worker can carry out.

Ideas for social inclusion and hobbies

Hobbies and social activities that can prove to be idea for adults with disabilities include:

  • joining in at the community garden – visit the Community Gardens Australia website to find a local site

  • volunteering at an op-shop, local markets or community centres

  • art skills and craft classes, including card making, mosaics, scrapbooking or paint creating

  • chat clubs, debating, discussion groups or book clubs

  • card and games groups, like chess or canasta

  • karaoke clubs, music therapy and choirs

  • computing clubs or online communities

  • historical societies, family research and genealogy organisations

  • disability day programs

  • groups for specific interests such as stamp collecting, keeping pets or yoga

  • religion and church based groups

Ideas for an active lifestyle

Participating in physical activities and sports will not only create opportunities to meet others and learn social skills, but will also provide beneficial exercise. Team sports and games build important bonds between players and can create a sense of team spirit and morale. Sports and games can help disabled adults to learn teamwork, play fairly and following the rules.

By doing some research and thinking creatively, you are likely to find something to be able to suit everyone’s interest and capabilities. Active lifestyle options include:

  • chair based mobility exercises

  • wheelchair basketball

  • modified sports such as golf, bowling or bocce

  • swimming

Some community gyms and stadiums may also offer physical activity and exercise programs specifically for adults with disabilities. Contact your local recreation facility or council to see what is on offer in community venues in your local area.

Social skills success stories for personal growth

Some of our favourite stories about helping clients stay active and social include:

  • connecting an NDIS participant with a local music therapy course, during which they learned to read basic sheet music and had the chance to make different sounds on a variety of instruments

  • introducing a young woman with neurological disability to centre based activities for young adults, where she established friendships with other local youth, and learnt news skills in socialising and meeting others

  • supporting a person to participate in an online peer support program for people with anxiety conditions

  • providing assistance for a person with Down’s Syndrome to enrol in a short life skills course, giving them the chance to try different foods and equipping them with the skills to prepare a basic meal in their own home

  • taking an older woman with multiple disabilities to a local craft group where she joined in with origami beading activities, creating art pieces that were entered into a local art show

Nursed Care for NDIS social and recreational supports

Nursed Care is based in Parramatta, Sydney and we provide services to people with intellectual disabilities, mental health disorders, and adults with physical disability. We have a proven track record of providing support to help people explore social activities, join in local groups and access enjoyable activities.

We love helping our NDIS clients stay fit with physical activities, connected to social groups and involved in leisure activities that improve their quality of life. We love the challenge of helping our clients find the the right disability activities that they enjoy.

Nursed Care for NDIS plan supports

The team at Nursed Care can provide a range of community and social participation supports to people with disabilities. We are a fully accredited NDIS provider, and can also provide other services such as personal care, medical and nursing care, domestic assistance and life skills.

We are well connected with groups, clubs and agencies right around New South Wales and will help you find the perfect social activities for adults.

Contact Nursed Care if you want to:

  • learn new skills

  • find improved self esteem

  • discover local day programs

  • make new friends

  • try fun activities for adults with disability

Related questions

There are many ways you can find information about activities, clubs and groups for adults with disabilities. We recommend:

  • carrying out keyword searches on the internet

  • asking peers, friends and neighbours about the social programs they are involved in

  • speaking to your Nursed Care support worker for ideas

  • contacting your local council, community centre or library

  • driving through the local area to look for venues you might not have noticed before

The NDIS Connecting with social and community webpage has a great resource, prepared especially for people with autism, intellectual disabilities and psychosocial disabilities.

The cost for participating in social activities will vary, depending on the type and frequency of the activity. Many fitness and art classes may be priced at around $15- $20 per session. Some groups and classes offer discounts for people with disabilities.

You might also need to consider the costs of materials or clothing required to participate. For example, if you are joining a sports team you might need a uniform, or, you might be required to bring your own papers, glues and stickers to a scrapbooking group.

The carers of people with physical and intellectual disabilities should also be able to access social and peer support. Carer support groups and social clubs can play a key role in helping carers feel supported and connected.

Carers can be prone to feelings of isolation, depression and stress and maintaining involvement in social networks can help address these issues. The Carers Australia website has lots of information for carers.

Need qualified care?

At Nursed, we offer a full range of care and disability support services, assisting you to live the life you want to live. Contact us today.

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Our friendly staff are eager to help you live your best life. Whether you need new accommodation, supports, home modifications or simply want to join our day programs we’ll ensure you’re looked after. 

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