“They’re Either Going to Find Ways to Include You or They’re Just Kind of Not”: Experiences of Students With Orthopedic Impairments in Integrated Physical Education

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  • 1 Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  • | 2 Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA
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This study explored the experiences of students with orthopedic impairments in integrated physical education (PE) classes. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach was used, and six students with orthopedic impairments (age = 10–14 years) served as participants. Data sources were semistructured, audiotaped interviews and reflective interview notes. Based on data analysis, three themes were developed—“Without it, they probably would like, just treat me normal,” visibility, disclosure, and expectations; “I sit out,” limited participation and a lack of modifications/accommodations; and “PE doesn’t feel great,” social interactions and perception of self. The experiences portrayed throughout these themes highlight the marginalization and lack of access that the participants encountered in their integrated PE classes. The findings indicated that PE professionals working with students with orthopedic impairments may benefit from reflecting on personal biases and their instructional practices in an effort to improve the quality of PE experiences for these students.

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