The Effects of Ecologically Valid Intervention Strategies on the Locomotor Skills of Children With Visual Impairments

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Children with visual impairments often exhibit difficulties with locomotor skills (e.g., the ability to move one’s body from one place to another), warranting the need for ecologically valid interventions with conditions that attempt to match the real world in a variety of settings. Parents and physical education teachers are the ones choosing to provide movement opportunities for children with visual impairments and must be included in any ecologically valid intervention strategy. This was a descriptive-analytic study. To support the greatest diversity in settings, the authors recruited 94 participants (blind = 44 and low vision = 50; Mage = 13.01 years, SD = 3.26) from schools for the deaf and blind in the United States (teacher led, n = 17) or Latvia (teacher led, n = 57), through an online LISTSERV throughout the United States (parent led, n = 10), and a control subgroup (n = 10). At the pretest, no participant’s motor development met age expectations. Children with visual impairments from multiple locations and cultures significantly improved compared with controls who did not. Results were most favorable when the physical educator was the interventionist. However, further research is needed to replicate these findings.

Brian, Taunton Miedema, Stribing, and Gilbert are with the Dept. of Physical Education, and Starrett, the Child Development Research Center, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Bostick is with Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA. Klavina is with the Latvian Academy of Sports Education, Riga, Latvia. Pennell is with Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA. Lieberman is with State University of New York’s College at Brockport, Brockport, NY.

Brian (abrian@sc.edu) is corresponding author.
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