The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe key research contributions that have shaped the field of adapted physical activity. That was not an easy task as the area of adapted physical activity is relatively new. The field is also quite broad and has been influenced by many people and sociopolitical influences. In an effort to constrain the scope of influences, this paper will focus on studies related to motor performance and health-related physical fitness of persons with intellectual disabilities (ID). This was done in part because that is an area where I believe that my work and that of students and colleagues at Oregon State University, helped to contribute small fraction of what is known and in a way to help substantiate how much more there is to know. It is challenging to answer the questions of whose work significantly influenced what we now know about the health and fitness status of persons with ID. And more importantly what direction does this area of research need to go for us to change health related outcomes of this group?
McCubbin (NAK Fellow #400) is dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.