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Physical Activity Among Young Children With Disabilities: A Systematic Review

Leah G. Taylor, Leigh M. Vanderloo, Julia Yates, Rebecca L. Bassett-Gunter, Meagan Stanley, and Patricia Tucker

Physical activity (PA) in the early years is foundational for growth and development and associated with numerous health benefits. However, the prevalence of PA participation among the pediatric population with disabilities is less clear. This systematic review aimed to synthesize the existing literature on PA levels of young children (0–5.99 years) with disabilities. Empirical quantitative studies were collected from seven databases and reference hand searching; 21 studies were included in the review. PA levels varied widely based on disability type and measurement strategies, but overall, PA levels were low. Future research should address the underrepresentation of measurement and reporting of the PA levels of young children with disabilities.

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Expert Appraisal of the 2022 Canadian Para Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Adolescents With Disabilities

Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Nicholas Kuzik, Leigh M. Vanderloo, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, Maeghan E. James, Rebecca L. Bassett-Gunter, Daniela Ruttle, Pinder DaSilva, Katerina Disimino, Christine Cameron, Mike Arthur, Keiko Shikako, and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung

This report provides an expert appraisal of the Canadian Para Report Card on physical activity (PA) for children and adolescents with disabilities. Thirteen indicators were graded by a panel of researchers, representatives from disability and PA organizations, and parents of children and adolescents with disabilities using benchmarks of the Global Matrix 4.0 and previous Canadian PA Report Cards. Facilitated panel discussions were used to appraise the available evidence based on data gaps, opportunities, and recommendations. The available data sources included four nationally generalizable or representative data sets. Grades were assigned to 8/13 indicators and ranged from B+ to F. Data gaps in measurement and national surveillance systems were identified. Ableism was an issue identified within some of the reporting benchmarks. The absence of PA from existing accessibility legislation in Canada was a policy gap of concern. Recommendations related to research, surveillance, and policy are provided to enhance PA among children and adolescents with disabilities in Canada.