KIDS was established in 1970 by John Mulcahy, a teacher who became concerned about the development of a disabled child in one of his classes. John wanted to improve communication with this child and sought guidance from the child's mother. This in turn established the KIDS ethos 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 aspirations.
Our founder had a vision and passion for disabled children back in 1970. It is with thanks to his dedication and original inspiration that KIDS' services and regions 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 the charity 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.
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 settings. KIDS wishes to build on this history to meet the needs and aspirations of a new generation of disabled children and young people and their families. In doing this, KIDS will become one of the leading charities in developing both the thinking and services that create an inclusive world for disabled children, young people and their families.