Finland’s 2022 Para Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Adolescents With Disabilities includes a summary of results and grades for 10 physical activity indicators and highlights how these grades are interpreted by stakeholders. The disability classification was based on the UNICEF/Washington Group on Disability Statistics measure, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD7) measure, or education status. Data between 2017 and 2021 were reviewed by 24 physical activity specialists using benchmarks adapted for data on disabilities from the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance. The grades were assigned as follows: Overall Physical Activity, C+; Organized Sport, C; Active Play, D; Active Transportation, B; Family and Peers, C+; School, B; Community and Environment, C−; Government, A−; sedentary behavior and physical fitness were graded as incomplete. Stakeholder focus-group discussions highlighted the need for multidisciplinary cooperation and increasing competence of specialists working with children to promote a physically active lifestyle for all children.
P. Asunta, K. Kämppi, K. Ng, A. Saari, and T. Tammelin
Paige Laxton, Freda Patterson, and Sean Healy
This systematic review of literature aimed to synthesize the multilevel factors related to physical activity (PA) among adults (age 18–65) with intellectual disability living in group homes. Keyword searches were used to identify articles from electronic databases, resulting in the inclusion of 10 articles for full-text review. Data were extracted relating to study and sample characteristics and study findings. Methodological quality of the studies was also evaluated. Factors related to PA in group homes were identified at all levels of the social–ecological model. Intrapersonal factors (e.g., health and functional status, attitude to PA), interpersonal factors (e.g., staff attitude, encouragement for PA, and coparticipation in PA), and organizational factors (e.g., program offerings, staff education, and staff–client ratios) were prominent findings in the reviewed studies. The findings support a social–ecological approach for PA promotion in group homes that target intrapersonal, interpersonal, and organizational factors.
Jacob Benzinger, Jeff R. Crane, Angela M. Coppola, and David J. Hancock
Schools can support physical education (PE) among students with mobility disabilities (SMDs). However, previous research has indicated that people and resources in the school environment have served as facilitators and barriers to engaging SMDs in PE. Thus, the purpose of this pragmatic, qualitative study was to explore physical educators’ perceptions and experiences of teaching SMDs to learn how to develop a PE environment supportive of SMDs. Eleven K-8 PE teachers who taught SMDs engaged in semistructured interviews. A thematic analysis revealed three themes describing facilitators and barriers of a supportive PE environment for SMDs: (a) teacher planning, (b) students in the PE environment, and (c) resources and support. These findings provide context to PE environments for SMDs and highlight a need for increased communication and collaboration with students with or without mobility disabilities, training or professional development for PE teachers to develop skills for adapted PE, and financial and personnel support.
Kevin Andrew Richards, Scott McNamara, Alyssa M. Trad, Lauren Hill, and Sarena Abdallah
School administrators represent key agents of socialization for teachers within their schools, including adapted physical educators who design and implement instruction for youth with disabilities, often across multiple school sites. The purpose of this study was to understand how adapted physical educators navigate and build relationships with administrators in the schools where they teach. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with 24 adapted physical educators from the U.S. state of California and analyzed using a multiphase approach. Analysis suggested both the importance of and challenges with building effective relationships with administrators. Themes included the following: (a) Administrators do not understand adapted physical education, which impacts programs and students; (b) the importance of relationship building in cultivating principal support; and (c) relationship development requires intentionality, but results in trust and motivation. Results are discussed using role socialization theory, and recommendations for the preparation of both adapted physical educators and school principals are discussed.
ZáNean McClain and Daniel W. Tindall
Diego Augusto Santos Silva and Carolina Fernandes da Silva
Brazil is a country member of the Para Report Card, and Brazilian researchers have frequently published information on physical activity of children and adolescents. The current study aimed to analyze the policies for the promotion of adapted physical activity to Brazilian children and adolescents with disabilities. Official government information on adapted physical activity was analyzed from the official websites. Policies were analyzed based on the Para Report Card benchmarks, and after that we used the principles of SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) to analyze the information. Adapted physical activity is not the main focus of any of the many policies to promote physical activity for children and adolescents. Based on the Para Report Card initiative, the score for this indicator in Brazil is D. Brazil needs to develop specific policies to promote physical activity adapted to the pediatric population with disabilities.
Justin A. Haegele
Nima Dehghansai, Alia Mazhar, Ross Pinder, Joseph Baker, and Ian Renshaw
The current study explored coach and athlete reactions and challenges leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with a specific focus on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Games’ postponement. Nine Australian Paralympic coaches (n = 3) and athletes (n = 6) shared their experiences in semistructured interviews. The thematic analysis highlighted how participants experienced the emergence of the pandemic in different ways, but all were relieved when the late but eventual decision to postpone the Games was made. Regarding lockdown periods (i.e., social-distancing restrictions), some coaches and athletes thrived under the new reality (i.e., training from home, online coaching) while others had more difficulty adjusting. Furthermore, results highlight the many uncertainties still remaining, which continue to influence participants’ sport and personal lives. The experiences of coaches and athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic sheds light on strategies and resources that could support Paralympic coaches and athletes during current and future crises.
Kwok Ng, Sean Healy, Wesley O’Brien, Lauren Rodriguez, Marie Murphy, and Angela Carlin
For the first time, data on children and adolescents with disabilities in Ireland are reported based on the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Para Report Card methodology. The most recent data from the last 10 years were used in the grading process (A+ to F), and indicators with insufficient data were graded as incomplete. Of the 10 indicators from the Global Matrix Para Report Cards, grades were assigned to Overall Physical Activity (F), Organized Sport (D), Active Transport (D−), Sedentary Behaviors (D−), Family & Peers (C), School (C−), Community & Environment (B−), and Government (B). Irish disability sport organizations were invited to assess the research-led audit and provided commentary around the final grading. The contextual discussion of the grades is presented through the lens of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats with the purpose being to provide direction for the reduction of physical activity disparities among children with disabilities.