Paraeducator Support in Integrated Physical Education as Reflected by Adults With Visual Impairments

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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The purpose of this study was to examine the reflections of adults with visual impairments regarding paraeducator support during their school-based integrated physical education. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach was used, and 9 adults (age 21–34 years; 8 women and 1 man) with visual impairments acted as participants. Semistructured audio-recorded telephone interviews and reflective field notes were sources of data. A 3-step analytic process was adopted for thematic development. Based on the data analysis, 3 interrelated themes emerged: “they wouldn’t let me participate”—restriction in the name of safety, “stuck out like a big tree in a field full of poppies”—unwanted social attention and isolation, and “I felt like they weren’t trained”—paraeducator disengagement and training needs. The themes highlight concerns expressed by the participants, such as the need for paraeducator training, that should be considered when using paraeducator support during physical education.

Haegele, Zhu, and Kirk are with Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. Sato is with Kent State University, Kent, OH.

Haegele (Jhaegele@odu.edu) is corresponding author.
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