The purpose of this article was to review published research literature on physical activity for school-age individuals with visual impairments by describing study characteristics and major findings. Keyword searches were used to identify articles from electronic databases published from 1982 to June 2013. Eighteen articles met all inclusion criteria, and relevant data such as participants, visual-impairment levels, theory, measurement, and dependent variables were extracted from them. Of the 18 studies, 5 were descriptive, 6 correlational, and 7 were interventions. Only 4 studies explicitly stated a theoretical or conceptual framework. Major findings suggest that low physical activity levels of school-age individuals with visual impairments may be related to perceived participation barriers including the availability of appropriate opportunities rather than visual acuity or educational setting.
Justin A. Haegele and David Porretta
Andrea R. Taliaferro, Lindsay Hammond, and Kristi Wyant
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of completion of an adapted physical education (APE) course with an associated on-campus practicum on preservice physical educators’ self-efficacy beliefs toward the inclusion of individuals with specific disabilities (autism, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and visual impairments). Preservice students in physical education teacher education (N = 98) at a large U.S. Midwestern university enrolled in 1 of 2 separate 15-wk APE courses with an associated 9-wk practicum experience were surveyed at the beginning, middle, and conclusion of each course. Results of 4 separate 2-factor fixed-effect split-plot ANOVAs revealed significant improvements in self-efficacy beliefs from Wk 1 to Wk 8 and from Wk 1 to Wk 15 across all disability categories. Significant differences between courses were found only for autism in Time 1.
Kate Ferrara, Jan Burns, and Hayley Mills
Despite some changes to the way that people with intellectual disabilities (ID) are viewed in society, negative attitudes prevail. One of the aspirations of the 2012 Paralympic games was to influence the public’s attitudes toward people with disabilities. The aim of this study was to investigate whether stimuli depicting people with ID performing at Paralympic level of competition change attitudes toward ID. A mixed randomized comparison design was employed comparing 2 groups: those who viewed Paralympic-level ID sport footage and information and those who viewed Olympic footage and information. One hundred fourteen students, mean age 25 yr, were administered measures of implicit (subconscious) attitudes toward disability and explicit (belief-based) attitudes toward ID. Implicit attitudes significantly changed in a positive direction for both groups. The findings provide evidence that both Paralympic (ID) and Olympic media coverage may have at least a short-term effect on attitudes toward people with disabilities.
Katie Brooker, Allyson Mutch, Lyn McPherson, Robert Ware, Nick Lennox, and Kate Van Dooren
To better understand how physical activity programs may contribute to improved health and social-support outcomes for people with intellectual disability, the authors conducted semistructured interviews with 11 people with intellectual disability and community-based volunteers in Brisbane, Australia. Three broad themes emerged: individual factors that generally facilitated activity, external factors that posed barriers to participation, and broader normative factors that directed participation. A key reflection arising out of the thematic analysis was that participants with intellectual disability and volunteers highlighted subtle but pervasive differences in barriers and facilitators to being active. Recommendations are provided for interventions aiming to improve physical activity and social support among those with intellectual disability. The authors’ research process demonstrates the utility of seeking the views of potential participants before program rollout to inform implementation and demonstrates the usefulness of a qualitative, actively inclusive approach to health interventions.
Jennifer Ryan, Michael Walsh, and John Gormley
This study investigated the ability of published cut points for the RT3 accelerometer to differentiate between levels of physical activity intensity in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Oxygen consumption (metabolic equivalents; METs) and RT3 data (counts/min) were measured during rest and 5 walking trials. METs and corresponding counts/min were classified as sedentary, light physical activity (LPA), and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) according to MET thresholds. Counts were also classified according to published cut points. A published cut point exhibited an excellent ability to classify sedentary activity (sensitivity = 89.5%, specificity = 100.0%). Classification accuracy decreased when published cut points were used to classify LPA (sensitivity = 88.9%, specificity = 79.6%) and MVPA (sensitivity = 70%, specificity = 95–97%). Derivation of a new cut point improved classification of both LPA and MVPA. Applying published cut points to RT3 accelerometer data collected in children with CP may result in misclassification of LPA and MVPA.
Phil Esposito, Kevin Casebolt, Dallas J. Jackson, ZáNean McClain, and Daniel W. Tindall
Michelle A. Grenier, Andrew Horrell, and Bryan Genovese
Having a disability and being a teacher can be a critical site for examining practices associated with ability, competence, and pedagogy. While there is a growing literature base that examines the experiences of students with disabilities in physical education, there is virtually no research that examines the experiences of physical education teachers with disabilities. Using the capability approach, this article explores the experiences of a physical education teaching intern with a physical disability, significant school members, and the students he interacted with through interviews and documents. The results yielded 3 primary themes. The first, "the fluid nature of the disability discourse," demonstrated the complexity of disability and explored the contrast between static tendencies that stereotype disability and the disability experience. The second theme, "doing things my way," reflected the intern’s need to distinguish himself as a teacher by defining contexts for experiencing competence. The third and final theme, "agent of change," explored how the intern’s experiences as a teacher with a disability informed his educational narrative.
Goncalo V. Mendonca
Viola C. Altmann, Jacques Van Limbeek, Anne L. Hart, and Yves C. Vanlandewijck
A representative sample (N = 302) of the wheelchair rugby population responded to a survey about the classification system based on prioritized items by International Wheelchair Rugby Federation members. Respondents stated, "The classification system is accurate but needs adjustments" (56%), "Any athlete with tetraequivalent impairment should be allowed to compete" (72%), "Athletes with cerebral palsy and other coordination impairments should be classified with a system different than the current one" (75%), and "The maximal value for trunk should be increased from 1.0 to 1.5" (67%). A minority stated, "Wheelchair rugby should only be open to spinal cord injury and other neurological conditions" (36%) and "There should be a 4.0 class" (33%). Results strongly indicated that athletes and stakeholders want adjustments to the classification system in two areas: a focus on evaluation of athletes with impairments other than loss of muscle power caused by spinal cord injury and changes in classification of trunk impairment.