Summer in Queensland also means end of year parties, Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations. Let’s face it, to say that there is a lot going on is an understatement! 

Having a disability shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying the fresh air and sunshine during the warm months. Here are some ideas on how to make the most of summer! 

Enjoy being in water 

Swimming or floating is a great way to enjoy a sense of freedom that those living with disability may not get to experience on land. Luckily, in Australia there are plenty of ways to enjoy water when the weather warms up. Accessible Beaches  has a directory of beaches that have matting for wheelchairs, accessible amenities, beach wheelchairs and other accessibility features. 

For indoor swimming, many public pools are equipped to cater for people with special needs. This includes access ramps, a ‘wet wheelchair’, hoists that lift you in and out of the water, floatation belts and accessible toilets. Some also run special needs adult and children’s classes and even classes with a qualified instructor for people with disability. Your local council will be able to provide you with the most up to date list of accessible pools. 

Visit a park for some stimulating fun 

Gone are the days when an accessible park was simply one with a single wheelchair swing. Now there are a growing number of thoughtfully designed play spaces that are designed to encourage physical, social, and cognitive play, for children of all abilities. Many playgrounds incorporate sensory play, soft mat flooring, graduated challenges, visual cues, audio stimulation and accessible play equipment. Once again, your council is best placed to provide you with the location of your nearest accessible park. 

Get up and close with an animal or two. 

Animals show human beings unconditional love, accept people for who they are, and provide opportunities to interact in a non-verbal way, such as stroking their fur or giving them cuddles. 

If you don’t have a pet at home, one way to experience an animal is to visit a petting zoo or farm. These places offer a friendly and supervised environment for people of all ages to interact with different animals such as chicks, lambs, baby goats and rabbits. Many farms also allow you to have a go at feeding an animal! 

Another experience that can be lots of fun is horse riding. Healing Hooves and plenty of other groups offer safe experiences for people of all abilities. This session can help build create joy and promote emotional wellbeing. 

Stay cool with a fun indoor activity. 

If the weather is too hot to be outside, stay indoors by visiting a museum, exhibition, or art gallery. This can be a great way to learn more about the world, be it science and technology, animals, a certain period of history or a famous artist. 

If you prefer to stay at home, try getting creative with an art project. Making something amazing with paint or clay can be a wonderful sensory experience that lets your imagination run wild. Or try your hand in the kitchen: cooking a tasty meal or baking a cake is a great way to learn how to follow instructions while also engaging your senses. 

Try a day program and learn a new skill. 

Joining a day program is a great way to have fun while trying different activities and even learning a new skill or two. Most programs offer activities like cooking, arts and crafts, exercise classes, volunteering, and fun outings. 

Try a new sport. 

Playing a sport you enjoy is a fun way to not only get some exercise, but practice teamwork and build up your self-esteem. 

Everyone in Australia should be able to find a sport they enjoy, no matter their age or ability. From mountain biking and kayaking to lawn bowls, plenty of sports have been adapted so that people with impairment are able to take part. For some ideas on what to try, visit Disability Sports Australia website. It also has plenty of great video resources for people with disability who want to exercise at home. 

Get out and explore nature. 

There’s nothing like getting out in nature to lift your spirits! In a recent study, researchers asked two groups of people to walk for 90 minutes in a natural setting and an urban one. After comparing their brain activity, they found that those who walked in nature had lower activity levels in their prefrontal cortex: the part of the brain that is active when you focus on negative emotions. 

Australia has plenty of wheelchair accessible bushwalks. For something closer to home, try going for a short stroll in your local park, doing some gardening, or having your afternoon tea on the balcony where you can hear the birds sing. 

Trusted Care can work with you to help develop empowering, person-centred experiences to help you meet your goals. Speak with one of our team today! or 1800 670 990