Women with Disability, Paralympics, and Reasoned Action Contact Theory

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Claudine Sherrill Texas Woman’s University, Box 23717 TWU Station, Denton, TX 76204

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The underrepresentation of women in the Paralympics movement warrants attention as the world prepares for Atlanta 1996, when Paralympics (conducted after the Summer Olympics) will attract approximately 3,500 athletes with physical disability or visual impairment from 102 countries. Barriers that confront women with disability, the Paralympic movement, and adapted physical activity as a profession and scholarly discipline that stresses advocacy and attitude theories are presented. Two theories (reasoned action and contact) that have been tested in various contexts are woven together as an approach particularly applicable to women in sport and feminists who care about equal access to opportunity for all women. Women with disability are a social minority that is both ignored and oppressed. Sport and feminist theory and action should include disability along with gender, race/ethnicity, class, and age as concerns and issues.

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