KIDS was established in 1970 by John Mulcahy, a teacher who had become concerned about the development of a disabled child in one of his classes.  Looking to improve communication with the child, John turned to the child’s mother for guidance.  This sowed the seeds of working in partnership with parents and carers to enable disabled children and young people to develop their skills and abilities and to fulfil their potential, hopes and dreams. The ethos of KIDS had begun.

Our founder had a vision and a passion for disabled children back in 1970 and thanks to his inspiration and vision KIDS services have grown into what they are today. John was determined that the charity’s aims should always be based on three guiding principles: that parents should be treated as equal partners; that KIDS should work in conjunction with statutory services and that we should offer both practical and skilled support. It is an ethos that KIDS still holds today.

In 2003 KIDS merged with KIDSACTIVE, previously known as the Handicapped Adventure Play Association. KIDSACTIVE was founded in 1966 by Lady Allen of Hurtwood, one of the pioneers in the field of adventure play who believed that disabled children had the right to adventurous play.

In 2015 KIDS took on the activities of KIDS Strut in Lincolnshire and Strut formally became a welcome addition to KIDS with its network of creches for disabled children under 5.

KIDS is a charity which has pioneered a number of approaches and programmes for disabled children and young people. These include Home Learning (Portage), Parent Partnerships, Adventure Playgrounds and the inclusion of disabled children in mainstream educational settings.

With a rich history and vast experience of meeting the needs of disabled children and young people and their families, KIDS is well-placed to play a leading role supporting the development of policy affecting this important group in society.