The present paper is a review of the psychomotor abilities of individuals with visual impairments. It was found that cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, flexibility, and balance were significantly lower in individuals with visual impairments than in individuals with nonimpaired sight. Differences were found in physical fitness and psychomotor skills among individuals with visual impairments. Those individuals with a later onset of blindness and greater visual acuity performed best. Segregated environments appeared to foster superior physical fitness and psychomotor skills compared to integrated environments. Findings indicated that some physical fitness evaluation instruments produce inaccurate results in testing individuals with visual impairments. Suggestions for future research are included.
Steve Skaggs and Chris Hopper
Michael W. Beets, John T. Foley, Daniel W.S. Tindall and Lauren J. Lieberman
Thirty-five youth with visual impairments (13.5 ± 2.1yrs, 13 girls and 22 boys) walked four 100-meter distances while wearing two units (right and left placement) of three brands of voice-announcement (VA) pedometers (CentriosTM Talking Pedometer, TALKiNG Pedometer, and Sportline Talking Calorie Pedometer 343) and a reference pedometer (NL2000). Registered pedometer steps for each trial were recorded, compared to actual steps assessed via digital video. Inter-unit agreement between right and left VA pedometer placement was low (ICC range .37 to .76). A systematic error was observed for the VA pedometers on the left placement (error range 5.6% to 12.2%), while right placement VA pedometers were at or below ± 3% from actual steps (range 2.1% to 3.3%). The reference pedometer was unaffected by placement (ICC .98, error ~1.4%). Overall, VA pedometers demonstrated acceptable accuracy for the right placement, suggesting this position is necessary for youth with visual impairments.
Otávio Luis Piva da Cunha Furtado, Kelly Allums-Featherston, Lauren Joy Lieberman and Gustavo Luis Gutierrez
The authors conducted a systematic literature review on physical activity interventions for children and youth with visual impairment (VI). Five databases were searched to identify studies involving the population of interest and physical activity practices. After evaluating 2,495 records, the authors found 18 original full-text studies published in English they considered eligible. They identified 8 structured exercise-training studies that yielded overall positive effect on physical-fitness and motor-skill outcomes. Five leisure-time-physical-activity and 5 instructional-strategy interventions were also found with promising proposals to engage and instruct children and youth with VI to lead an active lifestyle. However, the current research on physical activity interventions for children and youth with VI is still limited by an absence of high-quality research designs, low sample sizes, use of nonvalidated outcome measures, and lack of generalizability, which need to be addressed in future studies.
Justin A. Haegele, Carrie J. Aigner and Sean Healy
among children and adolescents with visual impairments (VIs) is limited to small convenience samples that focus singularly on PA ( Haegele & Porretta, 2015 ). This line of inquiry demonstrates that children and adolescents with VIs tend to be less physically active than their sighted peers because they
Lauren J. Lieberman, Cathy Houston-Wilson and Francis M. Kozub
The purpose of this study was to examine barriers perceived by teachers when including students with visual impairments in general physical education. Teachers (52 males, 96 females) who had children with visual impairments in their physical education classes were surveyed prior to in-service workshop participation. The most prevalent barriers were professional preparation, equipment, programming, and time. A logistic regression analysis, regressing gender, in-service training, number of students with visual impairments taught, masters degree attained, masters hours spent on visual impairments (yes or no), undergraduate hours spent on visual impairments (yes or no), and years of experience failed to indicate significant predictors of professional preparation as a barrier, Model χ2 (6, n = 148) = 4.48, p > .05.
Luis Columna, Margarita Fernández-Vivó, Lauren Lieberman and Katrina Arndt
Nationwide research indicates that children with visual impairment have limited participation in recreational and sport activities than their peers. This is due in part to the lack of recreational opportunities and facilities, as well as a lack of awareness by parents of how and where their children can participate. The purpose of the current study was to explore the experiences of Latino families of children with visual impairments living in Guatemala regarding physical recreation. Participants were Latino parents (N = 13) who have children with visual impairments recruited from a sport camp.
Qualitative data were gathered through one-on-one interviews that were transcribed and analyzed through a constant comparative analysis.
Participating Latino families who resided in Guatemala City participated at least once a month in low budget recreational activities with their children with visual impairments. Activities were mostly done in local surroundings and led mainly by their mother. Benefits identified by the participants related to relaxation, socialization, and sense of independence, with minimal mention of health related benefits.
There is a need to disseminate information to the Latino community with children with visual impairments regarding the multiple benefits that arise from being involved in recreational physical activities.
Justin A. Haegele and David Porretta
The purpose of this article was to review published research literature on physical activity for school-age individuals with visual impairments by describing study characteristics and major findings. Keyword searches were used to identify articles from electronic databases published from 1982 to June 2013. Eighteen articles met all inclusion criteria, and relevant data such as participants, visual-impairment levels, theory, measurement, and dependent variables were extracted from them. Of the 18 studies, 5 were descriptive, 6 correlational, and 7 were interventions. Only 4 studies explicitly stated a theoretical or conceptual framework. Major findings suggest that low physical activity levels of school-age individuals with visual impairments may be related to perceived participation barriers including the availability of appropriate opportunities rather than visual acuity or educational setting.
Donna L. Goodwin, Lauren J. Lieberman, Keith Johnston and Jennifer Leo
The social meaning of a one-week residential summer sports camp to young people with visual impairments is described. The experiences of 13 youths (7 females and 6 males) with visual impairments (3 B1, 1 B2, and 9 B3) between 9 and 15 years of age were gathered using the phenomenological methods of focus groups, conversational interviews, and field notes. The thematic analysis revealed three themes: connected, reaching out, and resisting and acquiescing. Experiences of group membership and shared emotional connection to others with visual impairments surfaced in a supportive sport context although resistance to others’ assumptions of ability was evident. The theory of psychological sense of community (McMillan & Chivas, 1986) provided the conceptual framework for interpreting the findings.
Eva A. Jaarsma, Rienk Dekker, Steven A. Koopmans, Pieter U. Dijkstra and Jan H.B. Geertzen
We examined barriers to and facilitators of sports participation in people with visual impairments. Participants registered at Royal Visio, Bartiméus, and the Eye Association were invited to complete a questionnaire (telephone or online). Six hundred forty-eight of the invited participants (13%) completed the questionnaire, and 63% of the respondents reported sports participation. Walking (43%), fitness (34%), and cycling (34%) were frequently mentioned sports. Costs, lack of peers/buddies, and visual impairment were negatively associated with sports participation, whereas higher education and computer (software) use were positively associated. The most important personal barrier was visual impairment; transport was the most important environmental barrier. Active participants also mentioned dependence on others as a personal barrier. The most important personal facilitators were health, fun, and social contacts; support from family was the most important environmental facilitator. To improve sports participation in people with visual impairments, the emphasis in a sports program should be on the positive aspects of sports, such as fun, health, and social contacts.
Carlos M. Cervantes and David L. Porretta
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of an after school physical activity intervention on adolescents with visual impairments within the context of Social Cognitive Theory. Four adolescents with visual impairments (1 female, 3 males) between 14 and 19 years of age from a residential school for the blind served as participants. We used a range-bound changing criterion single-subject design. Physical activity was measured using ActiGraph accelerometers. Questionnaires were used to obtain information on selected social cognitive theory constructs. Results show that the intervention exerted functional control over the target behaviors (e.g., leisure-time physical activity) during intervention phases. Similarly, changes in scores for selected social cognitive constructs, in particular for outcome expectancy value, suggest a positive relationship between those constructs and physical activity behavior. No maintenance effects were observed.