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Donna L. Goodwin, Lauren J. Lieberman, Keith Johnston, and Jennifer Leo

The social meaning of a one-week residential summer sports camp to young people with visual impairments is described. The experiences of 13 youths (7 females and 6 males) with visual impairments (3 B1, 1 B2, and 9 B3) between 9 and 15 years of age were gathered using the phenomenological methods of focus groups, conversational interviews, and field notes. The thematic analysis revealed three themes: connected, reaching out, and resisting and acquiescing. Experiences of group membership and shared emotional connection to others with visual impairments surfaced in a supportive sport context although resistance to others’ assumptions of ability was evident. The theory of psychological sense of community (McMillan & Chivas, 1986) provided the conceptual framework for interpreting the findings.

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K.M. Casebolt, Iva Obrusnikova, Phil Esposito, and Aaron Moffett

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Bryce Dyer, Siamak Noroozi, Philip Sewell, and Sabi Redwood

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of lower-limb running prostheses and stakeholders’ perceptions of fairness in relation to their use in competitive disability sport. A Delphi study was conducted over three rounds to solicit expert opinion in a developing area of knowledge. High levels of consensus were obtained. The findings suggest that the prosthesis is defined as a piece of sporting equipment to restore athletes’ function to enable them to take part in disability sport. In addition, the panel determined that the development of this technology should be considered to be integral to the sport’s ethos. Crucially, prostheses technology should be monitored and have limits placed upon it to ensure fairness for both participants and stakeholders.

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Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis

This study descriptively measured the universal accessibility of “accessible” fitness and recreational facilities for Ontarians living with mobility disabilities. The physical and social environments of 44 fitness and recreational facilities that identified as “accessible” were assessed using a modified version of the AIMFREE. None of the 44 facilities were completely accessible. Mean accessibility ratings ranged between 31 and 63 out of a possible 100. Overall, recreational facilities had higher accessibility scores than fitness centers, with significant differences found on professional support and training, entrance areas, and parking lot. A modest correlation was found between the availability of fitness programming and the overall accessibility of fitness-center specific facility areas. Overall, the physical and social environments of the 44 fitness and recreational facilities assessed were limited in their accessibility for persons with mobility disabilities. Future efforts should be directed at establishing and meeting universal accessibility guidelines for Canadian physical activity facilities.

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Selina Khoo and Rich Engelhorn

Understanding the motivations for people to volunteer with the management and execution of major sporting events is important for the recruitment and retention of the volunteers. This research investigated volunteer motivations at the first National Special Olympics held in Ames, Iowa, USA in July 2006. A total of 289 participants completed the 28 item Special Event Volunteer Motivation Scale. The top motivations related to the purposive incentives of wanting to help make the event a success and to do something good for the community. Factor analysis revealed a five-factor model, with the altruistic factor (purposive) being the most important. A MANCOVA was also used to compare subjects using both gender and experience as independent variables. Small but significant differences in motivation were observed.

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Fiona Moola, Caroline Fusco, and Joel A. Kirsh

Despite the benefits of physical activity for youth with congenital heart disease (CHD), most patients are inactive. Although literature has addressed medical and psychological barriers to participation, little is known about the social barriers that youth encounter. This qualitative study explored sociocultural barriers to physical activity from the perspective of 17 youth with CHD. The main theme, “what I wish you knew,” was related to all other themes-youths’ efforts to resolve “disclosure dilemmas,” the barriers they encounter during physical education, and their struggle to understand themselves as normal. The participants’ narratives illuminate the centrality of their sociocultural world to physical activity. The findings call on researchers and educators to attend to the social and cultural environments where these youth live and play.

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E. Andrew Pitchford and Joonkoo Yun

The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of spring-levered and piezoelectric pedometers for adults with and without Down syndrome (DS). Twenty adults with DS and 24 adults without a disability walked for two minute periods on a predetermined indoor course at a self-selected, slower and faster pace. Pedometer recorded and criterion observed steps were compared to determine pedometer error. There was a significant interaction between pedometer model and walking speed. Piezoelectric pedometers demonstrated significantly less measurement error than spring-levered pedometers, particularly at slower walking speeds. There were also significant differences in pedometer error between adults with and without DS. The study concludes that pedometer measurement error is significantly different for adults with DS but also that piezoelectric pedometers can be used in the future to measure walking activity for adults with and without DS.

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Phil Esposito, Iva Obrusnikova, and Daniel W. Tindall