Fitness centers may be an ideal setting for physical activity, yet qualitative findings suggest social-level barriers constrain access for people with disabilities. To further test this, I employed an online message correspondence study to investigate the effect of impairment status on the responsiveness of a national sample of fitness centers to requests for services. Email requests were sent to 800 fitness centers, of which 200 were tailored to each of the four investigative conditions (i.e., control, vision loss, spinal cord injury, or being autistic). The odds of receiving a positive response were 40.5% lower for individuals with vision loss (p = .011) and 33.3% lower for individuals with spinal cord injury (p = .055), as compared with individuals without an impairment. Specifically, the odds of receiving a positive response for personal training were 58.8% lower among individuals with vision loss (p = .003) and 41.1% lower for individuals with spinal cord injury (p = .065).
Lindsay Eales and Donna L. Goodwin
Trauma is pervasive, embodied, and can be perpetrated or perpetuated by researchers, educators, and practitioners, including those within adaptive physical activity (APA). In this article, we highlight the need to address trauma within APA as a matter of access and justice. We share various conceptualizations of trauma from psychiatric, embodied, anti-pathologizing, and sociopolitical perspectives. Trauma-informed practice is introduced as a framework for creating safer, more inclusive programs and services, so we can recognize the impacts of trauma and affirm those who experience it. As the first step to a multistep trauma-informed process, our aim is to raise awareness of trauma and introduce resources for enacting trauma-informed practice. We also pose difficult questions about how we, as “helping” practitioners, researchers, and educators may be perpetuating or perpetrating harm and trauma, in particular sanism, within our profession. Ultimately, we invite readers to join us in reflection and action toward anti-pathologizing trauma-informed APA.
Viviene A. Temple
The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide crisis. It has been, and is, an extreme challenge for our health care and prevention systems, and for society as a whole. Among many facets of life, physical activity and sport has been heavily impacted. The aim of this viewpoint article is to highlight the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals with an intellectual disability, with a particular focus on physical activity and Special Olympics. Specific objectives are (a) to share what the literature reveals about the impact of COVID-19 on the health and well-being of individuals with an intellectual disability, (b) to examine what is known about the impact of the pandemic on physical activity of individuals with an intellectual disability, (c) to describe Special Olympics program responses during the pandemic, and (d) to recommend areas for future research.
Sindhu Shanker and Balaram Pradhan
Yoga as a movement-based intervention is increasingly considered to improve the motor skills of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there is little evidence of the effect of yoga on their motor skills. The current study aims to explore the effect of group yoga program on motor proficiency of children with ASD and feasibility of its inclusion in special schools. Forty-three children with ASD from four special schools were randomized into yoga (n = 23) and control (n = 20) group. A structured yoga program of 45 min for 12 weeks was delivered by trained yoga teachers who also tracked their daily responses. The Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency. Second Edition was used to assess both the groups pre- and postintervention. In conclusion, the study highlighted that yoga appears to have a positive impact on the gross motor rather than fine motor proficiency of children with ASD and is feasible to be delivered as group intervention in special schools.
Jaehun Jung, Layne Case, Samuel W. Logan, and Joonkoo Yun
The purposes of this study were (a) to investigate the prevalence of physical educators who report delivering high-quality instructional practices to students with disabilities and (b) to examine the relationships between teachers’ qualifications and the delivery of high-quality instructional practices. A secondary analysis using data from the School Health Policy and Practice Study 2014 data set was employed. The analytic sample included 256 physical educators who taught students with disabilities. Prevalence estimates of physical educators who reported using high-quality instructional practices were calculated. Two separate binary logistic regressions using weighted data were conducted to evaluate the relative contribution of (a) teacher qualifications and (b) educational degrees in accounting for differences in the use of high-quality instructional practices. Less than half of the sample reported using high-quality instructional practices. Considering the increasing prevalence of students with disabilities in general education classrooms, teacher education programs should prioritize providing teacher candidates with coursework that aligns with the expectations of physical educators who teach students with disabilities.
ZáNean McClain, Kip Webster, Daniel W. Tindall, and Jill Anderson
Sally Taunton Miedema, Ali Brian, Adam Pennell, Lauren Lieberman, Larissa True, Collin Webster, and David Stodden
Many interventions feature a singular component approach to targeting children’s motor competency and proficiency. Yet, little is known about the use of integrative interventions to meet the complex developmental needs of children aged 3–6 years. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an integrative universally designed intervention on children with and without disabilities’ motor competency and proficiency. We selected children (N = 111; disability = 24; no disability = 87) to participate in either a school-based integrative motor intervention (n = 53) or a control condition (n = 58). Children in the integrative motor intervention both with and without disabilities showed significant improvement in motor competency and proficiency (p < .001) as compared with peers with and without disabilities in a control condition. Early childhood center directors (e.g., preschool and kindergarten) should consider implementing integrative universally designed interventions targeting multiple aspects of motor development to remediate delays in children with and without disabilities.
Nima Dehghansai, Ross A. Pinder, and Joseph Baker
This three-part investigation conducted a comprehensive analysis of 213 Australian and Canadian athletes’ developmental trajectories, training histories, and experiences in organized sports from 18 Paralympic sports (PS). While athletes with early-onset impairments (i.e., congenital, preadolescent) reached milestones and commenced various types of training at a significantly younger age than athletes with later-onset impairments (i.e., early adulthood, adulthood), the latter groups progressed through their careers and incorporated various trainings at a faster pace (i.e., fewer years). Preferences to certain training conditions varied between groups. Eighty-two percent of the athletes with acquired impairments had experience in able-bodied sports before the onset of their impairment, with 70% noting involvement in sports similar to their current PS. The participation rates (38%) and sport similarity (53%) were lower in PS. The amalgamation of findings from this series of studies highlights the complexity associated with PS athletes’ development and demonstrates the importance of taking an individualized approach.
Andreia Bauermann, Karina S.G. de Sá, Zilda A. Santos, and Anselmo A. Costa e Silva
This systematic review aimed to identify nutritional interventions and supplements that improve the performance for wheelchair athletes. Intervention trials involving high-performance wheelchair athletes were analyzed, including those that comprised a nutritional intervention, defined as any intervention related to food, beverages, and supplementation aiming at evaluating the performance of wheelchair athletes. Of the included studies, four evaluated caffeine supplementation, of which one also evaluated sodium citrate supplementation; two studies evaluated vitamin D supplementation; one study assessed creatine monohydrate supplementation; and one assessed carbohydrate supplementation. Most studies were conducted on athletes with spinal cord injury. Athletes who consumed caffeine exhibited an improvement in performance, but this finding is not strong enough to become a recommendation.