Menu Hobbies & Activities - Disability Info SA

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Having an Intellectual Impairment shouldn't stand in the way of anyone enjoying or discovering new hobbies & activities. Whether you enjoy solitary activities such as fishing or reading, or would like to engage in group activities, like playing cards or board games, or even if you would prefer something more strenuous like horseback riding, you should be able to find something for you, no matter what your age or type of Intellectual Impairment.

People with Intellectual Impairments can achieve important benefits by participating in activities & hobbies. Many of these hobbies and activities do not require any skills or much exertion. Hobbies do not only encourage socializing, but also bring enjoyment, improve your mood, reduce anxiety & stress, and alleviate or prevent depression.  They can also get you out of a rut.

Some hobbies and activities may however include barriers like affordability, transportation and lack of access. If an activity doesn’t work for all disabilities, it can usually be adapted, so that everyone can participate. It may require more planning & organization, but the benefits will make it worth your while.

Below are a few Hobbies available that you can enjoy doing. To view more information about these Hobbies and others, view the menu on the left. If you cannot find something to suite you, please visit our Sports page, as it may be listed as a sport.

Art & Creative Writing

Art & Creative Writing are both great hobbies. They are both possible, even if you have an Intellectual Impairment. Most Intellectual Impairments will not prevent you from enjoying some form of Art or Creative Writing.

Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature. Both fictional and non-fictional works fall into this category, including such forms as novels, biographies, short stories, and poems, while Art can include a number of activities including:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Pottery
  • Beadwork, etc

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Books & Reading

Reading is a wonderful hobby and very inexpensive. It provides so many benefits and is a hobby that can still be enjoyed despite having most Intellectual Impairments. Thanks to the wide variety of different types of books available, and with the help of a variety of assistive devices, books & reading can still be enjoyed, even with a severe Intellectual Impairment. The act of reading improves your ability to absorb and comprehend written information, helping you in virtually any career path. The more you read, the easier it is for you to execute your job better. Reading can be surprisingly social, too, thanks to book clubs, books and reading can become a truly social event.

Books can be acquired for practically nothing at your local library or used bookstore and can be read in small pieces when you have a five minute gap or in large chunks when you have a lazy afternoon. Most books are also incredibly portable & can provide you with many hours of entertainment.

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Card, Video & Board Games

Playing card, video or board games, are all great hobbies. No matter what your Intellectual Impairment is, you should be able to find some  card, video or board games that you will be able to play and that you will enjoy. Due to the wide variety of different types of Intellectual Impairments that can effect a person, some games are suitable for some people, but not others.

There are a wide range of card & video games for all ages and some are also suitable for people, who have a lower than normal I.Q. Some of the most popular board games are: Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, Drafts.

Some of these games might require the assistance of assistive devices, or someone to guide or assist you, but most of these games are still possible. If you are unable to play the actual versions, there are always computerised versions available, such Card Games and Chess, which are available to play on a computer.

If you enjoy playing computer games, there are a variety, which are available, many of which can often get acquired for free, or fairly cheaply.

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Horseback Riding & Therapy

Horse riding is available for the Intellectual Impaired in South Africa as both a sport, hobby and as two forms of therapy, known as Horse riding Therapy and Hippo Therapy. It is available for all ages and a variety of different Intellectual Impairments.

The Benefits are tremendous and include:

  • Recreational
  • Therapeutic Benefits 
  • Mental Benefits
  • Physical Benefits
  • Encourages Socializing

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TV, Movies, Sport & Music 

Listening to Music & Watching TV, Sports or Movies are all great Hobbies, especially if you have a Disability. Suffering from an Intellectual Impairment, no matter what type, or how severe, should not prevent anyone from enjoying these hobbies. All of these hobbies are relatively inexpensive and can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home or out on the town. Besides providing entertainment, they can also be a source of inspiration. Almost everybody, listens to music, or watches TV some time every day making them perhaps the most common hobbies in modern society. These hobbies bring us a lot of benefits and can be educational and increase our knowledge of the world, give us information to improve our lives and provide a lot of fun. They also offer a great way to escape from your troubles for a couple of hours. Some people with Intellectual Impairments also suffer from Mobility Impairments, or Visual Impairments. These people may need the assistance of either another person or a number of assistive devices which we will call "TV Aids". Assistive devices are available so that these hobbies can be enjoyed despite your disability with little or no assistance.

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