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.
Claudia Emes, Patti Longmuir and Peter Downs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe key research contributions that have shaped the field of adapted physical activity. That was not an easy task as the area of adapted physical activity is relatively new. The field is also quite broad and has been influenced by many people and sociopolitical influences. In an effort to constrain the scope of influences, this paper will focus on studies related to motor performance and health-related physical fitness of persons with intellectual disabilities (ID). This was done in part because that is an area where I believe that my work and that of students and colleagues at Oregon State University, helped to contribute small fraction of what is known and in a way to help substantiate how much more there is to know. It is challenging to answer the questions of whose work significantly influenced what we now know about the health and fitness status of persons with ID. And more importantly what direction does this area of research need to go for us to change health related outcomes of this group?
Jiabei Zhang, Daniel Joseph and Michael Horvat
The purpose was to investigate marketable features of the adapted physical education (APE) career in higher education. A total of 560 APE job openings (297 APE first priority and 263 APE second priority were identified from the Chronicle of Higher Education between 1975–1976 and 1997–1998. These data were analyzed by regression, chi-square, and descriptive statistics. The results indicate that the APE career is a growing employment market demanding candidates who specialize in APE to prepare in one or more other areas and encouraging candidates who specialize in other areas to minor in APE. The market shows that APE second priority openings increase more quickly than APE first priority openings. Personnel for the APE career in higher education appear to be in short supply.