1. Health

List of Hobbies for the Disabled

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Updated March 23, 2013

Being disabled shouldn't stand in the way of enjoying or discovering new hobbies. Whether you dream of flying, enjoy solitary activities such as fishing or gardening, or would like to engage in group sports activities, there is something for everyone to do.

Check out the following list of hobbies to find something new that you can do!

1. Adapted Sports for School Children

Shariff Che\' Lah @Dreamstime.com

AAASP's mission is to develop and support a standardized structure for school-based athletic competition to improve the well being of students with physical disabilities.

  • AAASP provides an organizational structure and leadership to enable and facilitate statewide competition in school-based adapted sports.
  • Provides shared services to enable more cost effective, high quality adapted sports programming for schools and districts.
  • Positively influences total student development through co-development and support of adapted sports programs.
  • Promotes interscholastic adapted sports with state and national policy makers.

2. Adaptive Snowshoeing

Val Thoermer @Dreamstime.com
Adaptive snowshoeing is a fun sport for individuals who enjoy the outdoors and like to explore their surroundings. It is considered a "tranquil" sport because it can be enjoyed at a leisurely pace without any noisy equipment. According to Disabled Sports USA, "Because the sport does require walking, adaptive snowshoeing is best suited for people with disabilities who are ambulatory, such as people with traumatic brain injuries, amputations or hemiplegia."

3. Fly a Plane

Cary Westfall @ Dreamstime.com

Do you dream of flying? A disability shouldn't stand in the way of your dream to become a pilot. Many wheelchair users, as well as those with other disabled conditions, have become pilots.

AbleFlight is an organization that helps people achieve the dream of becoming a pilot. Able Flight was created by pilots who believe that the life-changing experience of learning to fly is best shared, and designed the Able Flight Scholarships to enable people with disabilities to pursue that experience.

Members of the Able Flight Board of Directors and Advisory Board include a flight instructor, an Aviation Medical Examiner, a pilot who has provided thousands of free flights to young people, a veteran who flies his own plane with the aid of a prosthetic device, and a previous scholarship recipient.

Able Flight™ is incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, and is supported by the generous donations and sponsorships of individuals, foundations and corporations.

4. Gardening

Darkop @Dreamstime.com

Gardening is a fun hobby, whether it is done indoors or out. A garden can be as big as you wish, or done in containers. Individuals in wheelchairs can enjoy this hobby as well by using raised bed gardening. There are many benefits to gardening, including the feeling of success when plants grow, interacting with others, selling produce or simply growing a beautiful rose. Simple gardening ideas include terrariums, window boxes and bonsai trees.

5. Geocaching

Andrea Kodýdková @Dreamstime.com

Geocaching is a fun sport that people of all ages and disabilities can do. It is a combination of hiking and treasure hunting. People using wheelchairs, mobility scooters, rolling walkers and hiking poles can also enjoy this outdoor activity. For individuals with mobility issues, visit http://www.handicaching.com for difficulty ratings on geocaching sites.

6. Horseback Riding or Hippotherapy

Goran Bradic @ Dreamstime.com

"Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational or speech and language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement. This strategy has evolved over 30 years. Through education and clinical experience, physical, occupational and speech and language therapists continue to refine the use of hippotherapy as part of an integrated rehabilitation approach. Using the movement of the horse as the strategy of choice has resulted in improved functional outcomes for a wide variety of patients. These positive results ensure that hippotherapy will continue to be used in treatment for many years to come." - American Hippotherapy Organization

7. Hunting and Fishing

Radu Razvan Gheorghe @Dreamstime.com

Hunting and fishing are two fun outdoor sports that can be enjoyed by people with various disabilities. With the help of adaptive equipment, success in both hunting and fishing can easily be achieved. These sports can foster an appreciation of nature for a lifetime.

If you have put off trying these sports, there are many organizations that offer group activities to assist the disabled, as well as many new innovations in specialty sporting equipment.

8. Mountain Climbing

Tomas Mikula @Dreamstime.com
Misty Mountain Threadworks manufactures gear specifically for the disabled mountain climber, offering a wide variety of specialty harnesses, spreader bars and screwgate carabiner. Whether you enjoy climbing walls, boulders or mountains, they have the gear and information to help you enjoy the sport.

9. Scrapbooking

Sergey Mostovoy @Dreamstime.com

Scrapbooking is a relaxing hobby for many people, but some find it difficult if they have limited use of their hands. PrincessCrafts.com has been touted as one website that can help these individuals. The scrapbook pages can be created online and downloaded, ending the frustration some feel with handling small pieces of paper or using scissors.

For those that can manage scissors and tiny ephemera, there are many retail stores that carry scrapbooking supplies, kits, stamping supplies and a wide variety of papers. It is a hobby that children and adults of all ages can enjoy.

10. Scuba Diving

Zeamonkeyimages @Dreamstime.com

If you love the weightless feeling you get when swimming, then scuba may be a great hobby for you. The Handicapped Scuba Association promotes scuba diving around the world. Each year they also plan scuba trips to exotic locations led by specially trained scuba divers and individuals who are wheelchair users so that you are ensured a safe and comfortable scuba experience.

"The HSA was founded in 1981 by Jim Gatacre and is now the world's leading authority on recreational diving for people with disabilities. Headquartered in California, HSA INTERNATIONAL extends its underwater educational programs worldwide. The HSA is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and donations made to us are gratefully accepted and tax deductible." - Handicapped Scuba Association

11. STRIDE Adaptive Sports - Adults and Children

Mangostock @ Dreamstime.com

The STRIDE Adaptive Sports organization supports the disabled in a wide variety of activities. Some of these activities include the following:

  • Bowling
  • Biking
  • Dance
  • Golf
  • Sailing
  • Snowsports
  • Skiing
  • Sled Hockey
  • Snowshoeing
  • Swimming
  • Target Shooting
  • Tennis
  • Whitewater Rafting

Visit STRIDE's website to learn more about their programs and adaptive sports activities.

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