Insight Sport: Increasing access to sport for people with vision impairment

Submitted on Friday, 20/05/2022

Insight is currently collaborating in a new research project which explores physical activity in blind and visually impaired children, young people and adults. 2016 Census data revealed stark challenges faced by visually impaired people participating in leisure and other activities, with two in every five declaring difficulty in that regard.

This investigation will be a first and largest of its kind, examining activity, sports participation, and wellbeing of blind and vision impaired children and adolescents. In essence, it will be a ‘snapshot’ of the state of play in Ireland and it will provide recommendations for future development and policy in this area.

The research is a collaboration between Insight, Vision Sports Ireland, National Council for the Blind of Ireland and DCU’s School of Human Health and Performance. It hopes to support these children to participate in a sport of their choice, and sustain that into adulthood.

By identifying sport and leisure options, issues, and barriers for people with vision impairment the team involved believe that the level of sports participation can be greatly increased among this cohort of young people and also by those who may be vulnerable to economic, social and educational disadvantage. The project also aligns with Sport Ireland’s recently released research strategy.

This weekend, Vision Sports Ireland will host MayFest, an opportunity for people with vision impairment to try out different sports and activities and researchers will be there carrying on with this study.