Swimming For Disabled People

The great thing about swimming is that it is an inclusive sport and it is not just at Paralympic level that people with a disability can get involved in swimming.

Getting Started

There are plenty of opportunities at local and regional level for people with a disability to get involved.

  • If you want to know more about getting yourself or your kids involved in swimming in England check out the ASA's Go Swimming section.
  • If you want to know how to enter mainstream or disability specific competitions, head to our Competitions page.
  • If you are a club then you can find a range of information to help you become more inclusive and support disabled swimmers on our Useful Resources page.
  • If you are already a competent swimmer and are able to swim 15m or more then fill out our Swimmer ID Tracker form to become more involved with Para-swimming.

Useful Websites

As well as the contact points across swimming.org for people interested in learning more about swimming, there are a range of other general organisations that can help people interested in the sport both nationally and internationally.

International Disability Sports Organisations

International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. It organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, including swimming, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions.

Cerebral Palsy - International Sport and Recreation Association (CP-ISRA)

The CP-ISRA mission is to promote and develop the means by which people with cerebral palsy or a related neurological condition throughout the world can have access to opportunities for participation in sport and recreational activities.

International Blind Sports Association (IBSA)

The IBSA is a full member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and is the legitimate international representative of sport for the blind.

The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (CISS)

The CISS is the organiser of the Summer and Winter Deaflympics and is dedicated to promoting sports for deaf people

National Disability Sports Organisations

British Blind Sport (BBS)

British Blind Sport (BBS) is a national registered charity based in Leamington Spa and is a leading voice for visually impaired people in the world of sport and leisure, both at home and internationally.


WheelPower is the national charity for wheelchair sport and helps wheelchair users, and many others with disabilities, to achieve their sporting dreams.

Cerebral Palsy Sport (CP Sport)

Cerebral Palsy Sport promotes and seeks to increase sport and physical recreational opportunities for people with a disability and especially those who have cerebral palsy.

Disability Sport Events (DSE)

Disability Sport Events (DSE) creates participation opportunities for disabled people with all impairments. It provides events in various sports which allow athletes to follow the pathways to international success.

Dwarf Sports Association UK (DSAuk)

The DSAuk seeks to make regular sporting opportunity accessible and enjoyable to anyone and everyone of restricted growth in the United Kingdom, regardless of their race, colour, ethnic origin, gender, location, sporting ability or financial support.

English Federation of Disability Sport

Launched in 1998 the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) is the umbrella organisation for disability sport in England. EFDS brings together the eight National Disability Sport Organisations recognised by Sport England: British Amputees and Les Autres Sports Association, British Blind Sport, CP Sport , Dwarf Athletics, Mencap Sport, Special Olympics, UK Deaf Sport, and WheelPower (see links above and below for more on these organisations).

Federation of Disability Sport Wales (FDSW)

The Federation of Disability Sport Wales (DSW) is a pan-disability sport organisation which aims to provide and promote quality sporting and physical activity opportunities for disabled people within Wales.

Halliwick Association of Swimming Therapy

The Halliwick Association of Swimming Therapy (Halliwick AST) is an organisation set up in 1952 by James & Phyl McMillan to develop the teaching of swimming to people with disabilities using the Halliwick Concept.

Paralympics GB

The British Paralympic Association (BPA), brand name ParalympicsGB, is a registered charity which is responsible for selecting, preparing, entering, funding and managing Britain's teams at the Paralympic Games and Paralympic Winter Games.


Parasport is a joint initiative between the British Paralympic Association (BPA) and the professional services firm Deloitte. The project will improve how talented sports people at community level are identified and supported, with the aim of increasing participation levels in competitive sporting events.

Scottish Disability Sport (SDS)

SDS is the Scottish governing and co-coordinating body of all sports for people of all ages and abilities with a physical, sensory or learning disability. SDS has the vision of leading the development of sport and physical recreation for disabled people in Scotland and contributing to UK and international initiatives.

Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB)

SOGB is the country’s largest provider of year-round sports training and competition programmes for all people with learning disabilities. It is part of the Olympic family, but unlike the Paralympics it is not only a sporting event. It concentrates on community sport at all levels and for all abilities.


Mencap Sport oversees a number of programmes to promote sport and increase opportunities for people with a learning disability to get involved. It works to ensure that sports organisations who deliver sport at school, in the community, or in competition, are inclusive of people with a learning disability.

UK DeafSport (UKDS)

UK Deaf Sport aims to encourage deaf people to participate, enjoy and to excel at sport.

Other Useful Websites

Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR)

CCPR is the national alliance of governing and representative bodies of sport and recreation.

Sport England

The former English Sports Council. Working with UK Sport, it invests in organisations and projects that will grow and sustain participation in grassroots sport and create opportunities for people to excel at their chosen sport.

UK Sport

Accountable to Parliament through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, UK Sport works in partnership with the home country sports councils, such as Sport England, and other agencies to lead sport in the UK to world-class success.