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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.

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Justin A. Haegele, Jihyun Lee and David L. Porretta

The purpose of this documentary analysis was to examine trends in research published in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly (APAQ) over a 10-yr span. A total of 181 research articles published from 2004 to 2013 were coded and analyzed using the following categories: first-author country affiliation, theoretical framework, intervention, research methods, disability categories, and topical focus. Results indicate high frequencies of nonintervention and group-design studies, as well as a low frequency of studies that describe a theoretical or conceptual framework. Trends in disability of participants and topical focus reflect current interests of researchers publishing in APAQ. While some scholars have suggested that changes in research on adapted physical activity would occur, the results of this analysis suggest that many of these categories remain largely unchanged for research published in APAQ. This study calls attention to similarities between the results of the current analysis and previous ones.

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Claudia Emes, Patti Longmuir and Peter Downs

Adapted physical activity professionals have embraced for some time the concept of a nonmedical model; however, traditional approaches in service delivery continue to exist. Abilities-based is not a model for service delivery; it is an approach that offers a new perspective that is based on person-centerdness, openness, and compatibility. The focus is on the person in a learning situation, not the disability, not the activity, and not the environment. Although these factors cannot be ignored, emphasis in an ability-based approach shifts to the person. Attitude within and toward service delivery is the critical point of departure in the abilities-based approach. This article discusses demystifying disability and building positive attitudes as features of this approach. It then discusses the influence of this approach on how we prepare future professionals of adapted physical activity, and it concludes with an example of an abilities-based program.

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Wendy M. Holmes and Madeleine E. Hackney

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of 16 individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) partaking in an adapted tango class and the perceived impact on participation and quality of life (QOL). The Ecology of Human Performance and the International Classification of Function were the theoretical frameworks for the study. Data collection involved focus groups conducted during the intervention and at a follow-up six months later. Data analysis followed inductive thematic analysis techniques. The themes addressed living with PD, the class structure and experiences, the participants’ expectations for the class, and the multiple effects experienced by participants at both time periods. The results suggest that adapted tango, when offered in a structured environment with skilled instruction, may improve skills for participation in daily activities and contribute to increased QOL for persons with PD.

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Michael W. Churton

In the 10 years since the enactment of the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA) (1975), special education has grown substantially. Physical education, although cited within the definition of special education, has not grown to the same degree relative to number of teachers trained and children served. Financial assistance from the federal government helped develop adapted physical education programs but it has not been adequate to meet the needs. Several areas of concern are identified and recommendations are made for possible implementation of the physical education mandate of the EHA.

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Yeshayahu Hutzler

This article proposes a theory- and practice-based model for adapting physical activities. The ecological frame of reference includes Dynamic and Action System Theory, World Health Organization International Classification of Function and Disability, and Adaptation Theory. A systematic model is presented addressing (a) the task objective, (b) task criteria, (c) limitation and enablement criteria, (d) performance errors, and (e) adaptation suggestions. Four individual case examples are described, referring to the conceptual model and depicting its use in various settings of physical activity, including physical education, rehabilitation, competition, and recreation.

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Justin A. Haegele and Samuel Russell Hodge

There are basic philosophical and paradigmatic assumptions that guide scholarly research endeavors, including the methods used and the types of questions asked. Through this article, kinesiology faculty and students with interests in adapted physical activity are encouraged to understand the basic assumptions of applied behavior analysis (ABA) methodology for conducting, analyzing, and presenting research of high quality in this paradigm. The purposes of this viewpoint paper are to present information fundamental to understanding the assumptions undergirding research methodology in ABA, describe key aspects of single-subject research designs, and discuss common research designs and data-analysis strategies used in single-subject studies.

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Amaury Samalot-Rivera and David L. Porretta

The purpose of this study was to determine adapted physical educators’ perceptions and practices about teaching social skills to students with disabilities. A questionnaire based on Bandura’s social learning theory concept of modeling was developed and mailed to an entire frame of 426 adapted physical education teachers in the state of Ohio. Face and content validity as well as test/retest reliability (0.89) were established. Of those that were surveyed, 53% (225 teachers; 148 females and 77 males) responded. Results indicate that 93% (209) believe it is important to explicitly teach social skills in PE; however, 60% (135) expressed not feeling properly prepared to teach them. Teachers with more than 20 years of teaching experience were more likely to actually teach social skills. When compared with other teachers with less years teaching, however, they identified a greater need for training in the teaching of social skills. Results are discussed relative to teacher preparation and practices as well as social skills taught for general education and community integration.

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Garry D. Wheeler

The biological area of adapted physical activity research has traditionally been dominated by the positivist or rational empirical paradigm, or the scientific method. Underlying assumptions of the inquirer and inquired’s objectivity and independence have generated much criticism. Researchers have argued that the scientific method produces an impoverished view of reality and that claims to an objective and value-free stance are ideological and mythical. Critique of rational-empiricism, the scientific method, present science, or the received-view may be understood at three levels: intraparadigmatic, extraparadigmatic, and intramethod. Dr. Shephard (1998) addresses the latter in his paper and as such, his is a method-based approach. A methodological analysis, however, requires examining the underlying tacit assumptions of the scientific method. In this paper, critique of the scientific method is offered and justification of the critique examined. Proposed alternatives include an expansionist view of research, inclusion of subjective elements, triangulated designs, and empowerment of subjects.

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Melinda A. Solmon and Amelia M. Lee

This study explored the cognitive responses of adapted physical education teachers during lesson planning. The focus was to determine whether expert (n=4) and novice (n=4) teachers varying in experience and expertise differ in the information they need to plan a lesson and how they conceptualize a lesson. Subjects were given information about a fictional class of handicapped students and were asked to plan a lesson. After writing a lesson plan, they were asked to explain it to the experimenter. The results provided clear evidence of the experienced teachers’ superior knowledge base and repertoire of teaching strategies. Their responses were filled with contingency plans based on the actions and abilities exhibited by the students. In contrast, the novices generated plans that were unidirectional and failed to accommodate the range of ability levels in the class.