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Cathy McKay

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Cathy McKay, Jung Yeon Park, and Martin Block

The purpose of this study was to address contact theory as the theoretical basis of the Paralympic School Day (PSD) disability awareness program using a newly created fidelity of implementation instrument (fidelity criteria) to measure a single construct (contact theory), seeking to control and explain the manner in which PSD satisfied the four components of contact theory. Participants were 145 sixth-grade students who took part in PSD. Results determined that the PSD intervention supported the four theoretical components of contact theory, with statistically significant differences in student responses across all four indicators (p < .001). In addition, results determined that the fidelity criteria had strong test–retest reliability with internal consistency that was strong across time points (r = .829; p < .001). Results also determined that the four indicators of the instrument measured a single construct (one indicator significant at the p ≤ .01 level and three indicators significant at the p ≤ .001 level), thus, determining strong construct validity.

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Cathy McKay, Martin Block, and Jung Yeon Park

The purpose of this study was to determine if Paralympic School Day (PSD), a published disability awareness program, would have a positive impact on the attitudes of students without disabilities toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in physical education classes. Participants were 143 sixth-grade students who were divided into 2 groups (experimental n = 71, control n = 72), with the experimental group receiving the PSD treatment. Participants responded 2 times to Siperstein’s Adjective Checklist and Block’s Children’s Attitudes Toward Integrated Physical Education–Revised (CAIPE-R) questionnaire. Four ANCOVA tests were conducted. Results indicated a significant PSD treatment effect across all 4 measures: Adjective Checklist (p = .046, η2 = .03), CAIPE-R (p = .002, η2 = .04), inclusion subscale (p = .001, η2 = .05), and sport-modification subscale (p = .027, η2 = .02).

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Cathy McKay, T.N. Kirk, and Marie Leake

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe and understand the experiences and impact of the Paralympic School Day program on disability-related perceptions of rural high school students. Methods: Ninth- and tenth-grade physical education classes from a rural high school participated in the Paralympic School Day event. Of the 68 who attended the event, 42 students furnished assent and consent to participate. Data from reflective writing responses were analyzed inductively using a three-step approach. Findings: The analysis revealed three interrelated themes: (a) “I didn’t expect it to be fun”: preconceptions and reality of trying parasport, (b) “Anyone can play a sport”: developing new perceptions of disability, and (c) “I never realized how blessed I was”: persistence of ableist framing. Discussion: As a result of participants interacting with and learning from athletes with physical disabilities, they developed an understanding of parasport and a new paradigm through which to view individuals with disabilities.