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Hobbies

All women and girls with disability have the right to take part in activities that they enjoy, like arts and crafts, sport or music.

This page has information on taking up a hobby and finding activities that may interest you.

Photo of two women playing chess in a park. One is in a wheelchair and the other is sitting on a park bench.

Where to start

You don’t have to be an expert, or even particularly good at something to take part in it. The most important thing is that you enjoy it.

If you are not sure where to start or what sort of hobby to try, you can start by joining a community group, going to a class, or trying it on your own using an online video or ‘how to’ guide.

Some examples of hobbies include:

  • arts and crafts, like painting, sewing and card making
  • sport, like swimming, soccer, basketball, power lifting and cheerleading
  • performance arts, like acting, playing an instrument or singing
  • media arts, like film-making and photography
  • cooking and baking
  • many, many more!

Arts and creativity

In Australia, more people with disability are engaging with the arts than ever before

This includes:

  • creating visual art like paintings, drawings, photography and sculptures
  • singing or playing an instrument like guitar or piano
  • acting in a play or attending drama classes. 

Regardless of your disability, creating or taking part in arts can be an enjoyable experience. For many people, it also provides a way to express thoughts, feelings and emotions. 

Where to find more information

Arts Access Australia is a national organisation that represents and supports people with disability in the arts.

The Arts Access Australia website (external link) provides lots of information about people with disability and the arts, including information about upcoming arts events and opportunities. 

Sports

Playing sport or doing physical activity is a great hobby that can help you to stay fit and healthy, as well as provide opportunities for you to meet other people and make connections in your community. 

Photo of a person with a prosthetic leg running on a track

While your disability may affect the physical activities that you can do, you don’t have to be an athlete to play sport or do exercise. The sport and recreation sectors are growing and there is an increasing number of sports available for people with disability to take part in.

Some things you could try include:

  • competition sports like powerlifting, cheerleading or ballroom dancing
  • team sports like football, soccer, netball, basketball or hockey
  • individual sports like swimming, running, power walking, rollerblading or cycling
  • relaxing sports like yoga or tai chi
  • defence sports like tae kwon-do or karate.

Venues and competitions

In Australia there are lots of sporting venues that are accessible for people with a disability. This includes sporting arenas and facilities, but also local pools, wheelchair accessible beaches and many more.

To find out about the accessible sport venues in your area, you can contact your local council (external link).

There are numerous sporting events and competitions held in Australia and internationally that are specifically for people with disability. These include:

Disability Sports Australia (DSA)

Disability Sports Australia (DSA) is the national organisation that supports disability athletes. DSA has over 6000 members across Australia. The DSA website (external link) includes stories from people with disability who have excelled at sport as well as information about opportunities and events that you can get involved in.

Finding other activities and events

If you are looking for somewhere to start, you may want to go along to a community group or event that is related to your interests or an activity that you enjoy.

Some examples of these could include student associations, country women’s associations, sporting associations, disability groups and local council groups.

To find out what is happening in your area you can ask your local community centre or local council (external link) or search online. Some sites that are useful for finding and creating events and meeting new people include:


Accessible activities and events

One challenge that people with disability may face is finding hobbies that are accessible.

If you find an activity, group or event that you want to take part in, but you know that it is not accessible (for example, you cannot physically enter the venue or you cannot read the information provided), you have the right to ask the organisers to make changes so that you can take part.

Tip: Print out our Accessible Events checklist and give it to the organiser.


Government support


The National Disability Insurance Scheme

If you are interested in taking up a hobby and you need specific supports or equipment to help you, you may be able to get help through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Funded supports for eligible participants may include:

  • special equipment or assistive technology (external link)
  • transport to and from your training, lessons or games
  • a support worker to come with you.
Tip: You can find out more about available support on the NDIS website (external link).


Companion card

If you need a support person to assist you to go out and do things in the community, you may also be able to get a companion card. This card allows you to take your support person or carer to events and activities without any extra cost.

Tip: You can learn more about Companion Cards and how to apply for one on the Companion card website (external link).

Footnotes

[1] Australian Council for the Arts (2018) Arts and Disability: A Research Summary (external link).

Important Resources

Publications
WWDA Position Statement 3: The Right to Participation
Information from WWDA on the right of all women and girls with disability to take part in all areas of life.
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Guides
Zoom Meetings
Zoom is a program that allows you to run or join a meeting online. This document explains how to download Zoom, create an account, host a meeting and join a meeting.
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External website
NDIS: Recreation Supports
Information about supports available to eligible participants through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to take part in things like sports and arts.
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External website
Australian Network on Disability: Event Accessibility Checklist
This web page provides an overview of considerations that should be made to ensure inclusion of people with disability.
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Checklist
Our Site Accessibility Checklist: Public Events
This checklist has been adapted from one produced by Equal Access Australia to help individuals and organisations make sure their events are accessible.
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Guides
Feminist Organising Toolkit: Planning Virtual Meetings
This toolkit was produced by Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF) to support women to organise online groups, meetings, protests and more.
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Guides
WDV: Easy English Guide to Facebook
An Easy English guide to Facebook written by Women With Disabilities Victoria.
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WDV: Easy English Guide to Skype
An Easy English guide to using Skype written by Women With Disabilities Victoria.
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Where to next:

External website
Arts Access Australia
Arts Access Australia (AAA) is the national peak body for arts and disability.
Apple App Store
Google Play
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Accessible Word File
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Listen Now
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Download PDF
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External website
Companion Card
A card that allows people with disability to take their support worker or 'companion' to registered venues for free.
Apple App Store
Google Play
Visit Website
Accessible Word File
Download PDF
Listen Now
Download PDF
Download PDF
Watch Video
External website
Australian Disability Sport
National organisation supporting people with disability to participate in sports.
Apple App Store
Google Play
Visit Website
Accessible Word File
Download PDF
Listen Now
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Download PDF
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External website
Clearinghouse for Sport: People with Disability and Sport
Information about the benefits of sport for people with disability and how you can get involved.
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Accessible Word File
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Videos
Do Your Thing videos
Do Your Thing is a series of videos telling the stories of a diverse range of women with disability engaging with their communities through employment, interests and advocacy.
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External website
Scribe and Speak
A blog by Jacqui Brady about her comedy acts that aim to challenge stereotypes about disability.
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External website
No Strings Attached
No Strings is a world-class theatre company that works exclusively with performers living with disability.
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Accessible Word File
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Listen Now
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