This study examined the experiences of parents of persons with intellectual disabilities (ID) as they sought inclusive sport participation for their children. To understand their experiences, in-depth interviews were conducted with 49 parents. Qualitative data analysis was conducted to identify common themes from the responses. The analysis showed that most parents sought inclusive sport involvement for their children but they soon gave up their effort due to rejection by staff and other participants. Underlying these attitudinal problems were a lack of quality contact between people with and without ID and a lack of understanding of people with ID. Parents’ lack of sense of entitlement, low sport values, and lack of participation information and opportunities also contributed to their giving up of inclusive sport. Factors leading to successful inclusion included staff inclusion attitudes and abilities and the social skills of individuals with ID.
Eva Tsai and Lena Fung are with Hong Kong Baptist University Physical Education Department in Hong Kong.