Friday, May 8, 2009

Inclusive Sports Participation

Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly reports on research indicating that persons with intellectual disabilities frequently join inclusive sports but do not continue with the inclusive sports overtime. Parents reported rejection by staff and other participants. In addition, parents felt there was a lack of contact and understanding of people with intellectual disabilities.

Physical activity for persons with disabilities is extremely important. It is disappointing to hear that parents find inclusive sports not appropriate for children with intellectual disabilities. School based occupational and physical therapists can be instrumental in promoting physical activity for the disabled. Try to schedule a presentation on inclusive sports for your community or school. Here are some tips to help any children with disabilities participate in inclusive sports programs:

1. First and foremost make sure that the sports program is accessible for the child. If not, offer some modifications that can make the program accessible.

2. Educate the coaches and volunteers on the child's disability. If a coach does not know what to do this can make participation very difficult.

3. If any modifications require adapted equipment, make sure all sports staff know how to use it.

4. Offer suggestions on how to present the directions or rules in different formats instead of just verbally. Maybe the coach could provide written rules or visual demonstrations.

5. Inform sports staff that the child may need accomodations such as more time to complete a skill.

6. If a child requests additional help, perhaps assign a partner (peer or adult) to help.

7. Do not assume a child can not do a task. If possible and safe, always let them try first before determining that something can not be accomplished. Most likely, sports staff will be amazed at what children can accomplish.

8. Remind staff of safety precautions that be necessary for specific disabilities such as a visual or hearing impairment.

Based on your own expereinces, what have you done to support inclusive sports? Please comment.

Reference: Eva Hiu-Lun Tsai, Lena Fung. Parents’ Experiences and Decisions on Inclusive Sport Participation of Their Children With Intellectual Disabilities
APAQ, 26(2), April 2009.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...