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Addressing Trauma in Adaptive Physical Activity: A Call to Reflection and Action

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.

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Say What You Mean: Rethinking Disability Language in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

Danielle Peers, Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere, and Lindsay Eales

Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly (APAQ) currently mandates that authors use person-first language in their publications. In this viewpoint article, we argue that although this policy is well intentioned, it betrays a very particular cultural and disciplinary approach to disability: one that is inappropriate given the international and multidisciplinary mandate of the journal. Further, we contend that APAQ’s current language policy may serve to delimit the range of high-quality articles submitted and to encourage both theoretical inconsistency and the erasure of the ways in which research participants self-identify. The article begins with narrative accounts of each of our negotiations with disability terminology in adapted physical activity research and practice. We then provide historical and theoretical contexts for person-first language, as well as various other widely circulated alternative English-language disability terminology. We close with four suggested revisions to APAQ’s language policy.

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Singing and Dancing With Neuromuscular Conditions: A Mixed-Methods Study

Danielle Peers, Lindsay Eales, Kelvin Jones, Aidan Toth, Hernish Acharya, and Janice Richman–Eisenstat

The purpose of this study was to assess the safety and meaningfulness of a 15-week recreational dance and singing program for people with neuromuscular conditions. Within a transformative mixed-methods design, pulmonary function tests, plethysmography through wearable technology (Hexoskin vests), individualized neuromuscular quality-of-life assessments (version 2.0), and semistructured interviews were used. The interviews were analyzed through inductive, semantic thematic analysis. Although the sample sizes were small (six people with neuromuscular conditions), the authors found no evidence of safety concerns. There was evidence of respiratory improvements and reported improvements in swallowing and speech. The most notable quality-of-life changes included improvements related to weakness, swallowing, relationships, and leisure. The participants shared that the program offered meaningful social connection and embodied skills and safe and pleasurable physical exertion. The authors learned that recreational singing and dancing programs could be a safe and deeply meaningful activity for those with neuromuscular conditions that impact respiration.