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
- 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.
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.
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:
- Australian Deaf Games (external link)
- Australian Dwarf Games (external link)
- Commonwealth Games: Para-Sport (external link)
- International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (INAS) games (external link)
- The Paralympic Games (external link)
- Wheelchair Australian Football League (external link)
- Wheelchair Dance Sport Australia (external link)
- Wheelchair Tennis (external link)
- Wheelchair Basketball (external link).
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.
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).
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).
 Australian Council for the Arts (2018) Arts and Disability: A Research Summary (external link).