The purpose of this article is to review qualitative inquiries examining the perspectives of students with disabilities toward physical education (PE) published from 2014 to 2019, as an update to the 2015 review by Haegele and Sutherland. Keyword searches were used to identify articles from nine electronic databases, and seven articles met all inclusion criteria. The seven selected articles were subjected to a narrative analysis, and three thematic clusters emerged: (a) an “inconvenience”: the PE teacher’s influence on quality of experience, (b) “we play together and I like it”: friendships central to the quality of PE experience, and (c) “no lift access to the gym”: barriers to successful participation. Findings from this review support the notion that students with disabilities may have positive experiences in PE if they are offered appropriate modifications and accommodations and are provided with increased kind and supportive interactions with staff and peers.
Perspectives of Students With Disabilities Toward Physical Education: A Review Update 2014–2019
Katherine Holland and Justin A. Haegele
“My Eyes Have Nothing to Do With How My Legs Move”: Individuals With Visual Impairments’ Experiences With Learning to Run
Katherine Holland, Justin A. Haegele, and Xihe Zhu
The purpose of this study was to describe the reflections of adults with visual impairments about learning to run during K–12 physical education. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach was used, and eight adults (age 22–35 years) with visual impairments served as participants. Primary data sources were semistructured, audiotaped telephone interviews and reflective interview notes. Based on a thematic data analysis process, two themes were developed: (a) “I wouldn’t expect anything better from you”: running instruction in physical education and (b) “You look like the guy in the crosswalk signal”: making up for the shortcomings of physical education. The narratives portraying these themes highlight the lack of instruction that took place in physical education, and the fact that no running instruction occurred at all. These findings indicate that professionals working with individuals with visual impairments should use instructional strategies that will allow for maximum access to learning fundamental movement skills such as running.
“They’re Either Going to Find Ways to Include You or They’re Just Kind of Not”: Experiences of Students With Orthopedic Impairments in Integrated Physical Education
Katherine Holland, Justin A. Haegele, Xihe Zhu, and Jonna Bobzien
This study explored the experiences of students with orthopedic impairments in integrated physical education (PE) classes. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach was used, and six students with orthopedic impairments (age = 10–14 years) served as participants. Data sources were semistructured, audiotaped interviews and reflective interview notes. Based on data analysis, three themes were developed—“Without it, they probably would like, just treat me normal,” visibility, disclosure, and expectations; “I sit out,” limited participation and a lack of modifications/accommodations; and “PE doesn’t feel great,” social interactions and perception of self. The experiences portrayed throughout these themes highlight the marginalization and lack of access that the participants encountered in their integrated PE classes. The findings indicated that PE professionals working with students with orthopedic impairments may benefit from reflecting on personal biases and their instructional practices in an effort to improve the quality of PE experiences for these students.