Through the lens of the learner: Using photo-elicitation to assess the recreational needs of learners with intellectual disabilities

  • RJ Gaede
  • J Surujlal
Keywords: Recreation, photo-elicitation, intellectual disability, communication


Appropriately organized recreation activities are crucial for children with intellectual disabilities, as they contribute to both intellectual as well as physical development, and sustain emotional well-being. In order to plan and implement suitable recreation programmes for learners with intellectual disabilities, it is necessary to gauge the needs and experiences of such learners. The current study employed semi-structured photo-elicitation interviews to assess the recreation needs of children with intellectual disabilities. Twenty-two learners with intellectual disabilities participated in the study. The findings suggest that recreational activities play an important role in the lives of the learners, and that their past recreational experiences have been substantially positive. The learners were satisfied with the sport and recreation activities organized at the school in the sense that they found the extent of choice with regard to sports and recreation activities adequate. The results of the study confirmed that children with intellectual disabilities have clear recreation preferences and are able to make informed choices based on their previous recreation experiences. Furthermore, the study demonstrated that photo-elicitation is a useful tool to afford individuals with intellectual disabilities a means of communicating their recreational needs and preferences.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939