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John Dattilo and Frank B. Guadagnolo

The increasing participation in competitive athletics by persons with disabilities calls for research examining differences and similarities between athletes with and without disabilities. This study examined these similarities and differences within the context of a 10K road race. Employing the Importance-Performance Scale, all entrants (n=53) in the Challenged Division of the Pittsburgh Citiparks’ Great Race were asked to rate the importance of some 31 attributes associated with a 10K race and respond to a series of open-ended questions. Of the 31 questionnaires returned, 29 were deemed usable. A random sample of runners (n=1,000) without disabilities was administered an identical questionnaire, and 661 of the 678 questionnaires returned were usable. The results of a MANOVA yielded significant differences between the overall responses of the challenged runners and the general running population, F(31, 570) = 2.26, p <.0001. Multiple t test analysis of attribute ratings identified four features as being significantly different (.01) between the two populations. These differences were grouped and analyzed under three categories (recognition, safety, and convenience). The t test coupled with a content analysis of open-ended responses underscored the similarities among the two groups. Although race organizers need to be responsive to the differences of individual participants, these findings would suggest that the integration of all participants is an attainable goal.

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Domingo Garcia-Villamisar, John Dattilo, and Carmen Muela

Effects of B-Active2 (Enjoy Being Physically Active by Walking Safely: A Leisure Education Program) on the risk of falls, stress, and well-being of a sample of 44 adults with ASD (ages M = 36.88; SD =7.31) were examined using a controlled experimental trial. Given the relationship between physical activity and stress reduction to individual well-being, B-Active2 was developed as a multidimensional program involving leisure education and walking designed to create an enjoyable context in which adults with ASD learn about and engage in physical activity. All participants were evaluated on balance, gait, well-being, and stress at baseline and at 1 month postintervention by a team of therapists blind to study objectives. There was a significant difference postintervention on balance, F(1, 40) = 55.63, p < .001, η2 = .58; gait, F(1, 40) = 23.58, p < .001, η 2 =.37; and well-being, F(1, 40) = 34.16, p < .001, η 2 = .47). No statistically significant effect was found for level of stress reduction, F(1, 40) = 0.27, n.s. Results of this study support the conclusion that B-Active2 is a viable leisure education program that promotes physical activity of adults with ASD and has positive effects on their well-being and risk of falls.

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Roger Moore, John Dattilo, and Mary Ann Devine

This study compared the trail setting preferences of a group of users having disabilities and a group without. On-site interviews and follow-up mail surveys were used to gather data from 1,705 men and women age 16 and older who were using one of three multipurpose rail-trails in Iowa, California, and Florida. Preferences for 27 setting attributes of such trails were measured using 7-point Likert-type scales. Preferences between the two groups were found to differ significantly (.05 level) for only 7 attributes. Findings indicated that people with and without disabilities are more similar than different in their usage and preferences for outdoor recreation. It was concluded that there is a need for research examining ways to enhance the inclusion of people with disabilities in outdoor recreation settings.