Dubai: The AccessAbilities Expo 2016, taking place between February 9 and 11 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, will feature an exclusive activity area offering a range of sport and recreational programmes for children with disabilities.

Aiming to encourage physical activity among children and adults with disabilities, the new area includes facilities for table tennis, archery, basketball, boccia, yoga, dance, martial arts, art and easy cooking.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, children with disabilities are 38 per cent more likely to be obese than their counterparts. Physical and recreational activities can have a positive impact on their improvement and overall well-being.

Experts advise that even in the case of children whose abilities do not allow convenient participation in group sports, there are many options to stay active safely with the help of adaptive equipment and protective gear and these should be exercised.

However, many parents often worry and at times restrict their children from taking part in such activities fearing it will tire them or stress them out, said Arti Khazanchi, one of the founders of Tender Hearts Arena.

“Differently-abled individuals have a greater need for recreational activities, as they are more likely to lead sedentary lifestyles,” she said.

The Tender Hearts Arena will be offering yoga, mixed martial arts, brain gym and dance during the expo for children and young adults with several disabilities including autism spectrum ddsorder, slow development, learning disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, and hyperactivity.

“AccessAbilities Expo will educate and make people aware by opening up a host of options, giving them experiences. Hence, it will create an environment where they will be introduced to ways and means of adopting practical changes that can help their family member with disability lead a more independent and fulfilling life,” said Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director at Reed Exhibitions.