My Therapist has 4 Legs

Horses have been making our lives easier for thousands of years. They are closely woven into the fabric of our social, industrial and agricultural history. They have carried us to war, pulled our ploughs and carriages, and provided sport and entertainment. More recently, horses have taken on a new role helping people deal with life's challenges.
Paul tabletennis

Special Olympics Ireland

My name is Paul Alford and I live in Navan and I get 8 hours a week support from my support worker Brian. I’m part of the Arch Club for people with disabilities, and I go by myself every week. Tony Brady is the boss of the club and Mary Davitt is the Secretary, and I get to play games with them every Thursday night for two hours from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

Julien’s work placements and training courses

Julien’s love of animals and in particular horses when he was young, led us to believe that he might have a future in that field. He used to go riding with his brother and sister on a day’s outing with a picnic and he took some lessons in a friend’s riding school.

Physical Activity & Sports Department at Cope Foundation

In Cope Foundation, the Physical Activity and Sports Department manages the delivery of its supports in line with the Black & Stephenson Model of Sports Inclusion, incorporating STEP (Fig. 1) and Cope Foundation’s Adult Services Referral System (CASS).

Sports and Inclusion at Cope Foundation

Cope Foundation is one of Ireland’s largest voluntary sector service providers for people with intellectual disabilities and autism. Since its inception in 1957, Cope Foundation has delivered a vast range of services to children and adults with disabilities in Cork city and county. These services include medical, pre-school (early intervention), education, diverse training skills, health promotion, employment placement, retirement and care of the elderly. The foundation is delivering these services to over 2,800 individuals across the Munster region.

Sport Inclusion

In my time working in SHS over the past 10 years I have seen the approach to sport and recreation change a lot. The RT students whom I support are now members of private / public gyms and leisure clubs or just pay as you go costumers, where they take part in public classes, swims, use the gyms and leisure facilities.

Gerry Ryan – A Personal Tribute

It was with much sadness and regret that I learnt belatedly of the death of Gerry Ryan in October 2017 after a short illness. Gerry was General Secretary of the National Association for the Mentally Handicapped of Ireland N.A.M.H.I. from 1981 to 2001. N.A.M.H.I. is now known as Inclusion Ireland.


Sports and physical activity have been identified by the World Health Organisation as being essential for health and well-being (World Health Organisation, 2003). The European Sports Charter (Council of Europe, 1992) defines sport as all forms of physical activity, which through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels.

Disability needs visibility

Disability discrimination in Europe averages 15%, but in Portugal this figure increases to 65%.  Surprisingly, the Portuguese Government has no national strategy for persons...

Training older persons with intellectual disabilities to become leaders within their communities

The Physical Activity Leader Project (P-PALs) aims to enable people with an intellectual disability (ID) to become physical activity leaders in their communities. The project will design and test a programme to do this. While there are existing physical activity programmes in Ireland for children and young adults with ID and for older adults, there is a gap for the older adults with ID.