In this article, I explore the concept of axiology in the context of adapted physical activity research and analyze its connection to the more commonly discussed paradigmatic assumptions of epistemology and ontology. Following methodological scholars, I argue for an acknowledgment of the pivotal role that axiology already plays in adapted physical activity research and for the potential interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary opportunities that could be enabled by engaging with axiology in more explicit ways. I discuss a number of potential axiological gaps between the field of adapted physical activity and disability communities, arguing that such differences may undermine attempts at doing meaningful transdisciplinary research with such communities. I offer strategies for bridging these axiological gaps, encouraging us to work together in axiologically reflexive ways in order to increase meaningful opportunities for more people with disabilities to be engaged in the movement-based activities and communities of their choice.
Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere and Danielle Peers
The inclusion of able-bodied athletes within disability sport, a phenomenon known as reverse integration, has sparked significant debate within adapted physical activity. Although researchers and practitioners have taken up positions for or against reverse integration, there is a lack of supporting research on the experiences of athletes who already play in such settings. In this study, we explore how competitive female athletes who have a disability experience reverse integration in Canadian wheelchair basketball. Athletic identity was used as the initial conceptual framework to guide semistructured interviews with nine participants. The results suggest that participation in this context contributed to positive athletic identities. Interviews also pointed to the unexpected theme of “what’s the difference?” that this sporting context provided a space for the questioning and creative negotiation of the categories of disability and able-bodiedness. Methodologically, this paper also explores the possibilities and challenges of inter- worldview and insider-outsider research collaboration.
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.
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.