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The Unheard Partner in Adapted Physical Activity Community Service Learning

Rebecca T. Marsh Naturkach and Donna L. Goodwin

Community service learning (CSL), built on collaborative, reciprocal, and diverse disability-community partnerships, is a taken-for-granted pedagogical practice in adapted physical activity. Thus far, the CSL experiences of community members as they support student learning are virtually unknown. The purpose of the study was to understand how community members experienced an undergraduate adapted physical activity CSL course. Using an interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach, 9 adults (2 female, 7 male, mean age 50 years) experiencing disability participated in individual and focus-group interviews. Field notes and artifacts were also gathered. Relational ethics provided a heuristic framework to facilitate the interpretation of the findings. Four themes were crafted: (a) yes, we are willing partners; (b) but . . . we’re in the dark; (c) subjected to being the subject; and (d) engage through relationships. Although overlooked as valuable collaborative and reciprocal partners, relational engagement remained central to the participants’ CSL experience.

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(Un)imaginable (Para-)athletes: A Discourse Analysis of Athletics Websites in Canada

Danielle Peers, Timothy Konoval, and Rebecca Marsh Naturkach

This Foucauldian discourse analysis engages DePauw’s theory of disability and visibility to examine the construction of para-athletes within the websites of Canada’s “fully integrated” athletics sport system. The authors found that para-athletes remain largely unimaginable within most athletics websites. When present, para-athletes are often only imagined as marginal participants, or marginalized through medical and charitable discourses. The authors offer examples of para-athletes being reimagined primarily as athletes, and some examples where (para-)athletics was reimagined by identifying and removing barriers to full participation. The authors close with some learning points that may enable sport practitioners to change how they discursively construct para-athletes and thus contribute to a less marginalizing and exclusionary sport system.