Research finds a demand for the reporting of more disability news

The English Federation for Disability Sport (EFDS) has published research that indicates a demand from the public for more coverage of disability sport in the media.


EFDS commissioned a research company to speak to a range of disabled, non-disabled and sports journalists from all over the country. The purpose was to benchmark the media’s current portrayal of people with disabilities and to assess opinions on disability sport news. There were a number of interesting findings:

  • There is the societal impact of the way the media reports on disabled people and the wider effects on people’s perception of disability.
  • Though the improvement in reporting since London 2012 has been noted, both disabled and non-disabled people want to see more disability sport news.
  • Long-term efforts to improve media coverage between Paralympic years needs to made – there is plenty of opportunity for coverage of disability sport beyond the Paralympics.
  • Journalists need guidance & support on the appropriate reporting of disability sport


There were also some interesting findings regarding journalists and news outlets:

  • Numerous groups/organisations can contribute to the improvement of disability sport reporting – news providers, journalists, sporting NGB’s, sports clubs and ambassadors.
  • Focus on achievements rather than the disabilities
  • Avoid overuse of terms that could be construed as condescending such as ‘inspirational’
  • Clear recognition of classification systems without focusing too much on the disabilities
  • Use better quality media (images, videos etc.)


As well as these observations, the EFDS has had a guide produced that teaches ‘better practice’ as an accompaniment to their research. Click the link below to see the guide.

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