FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2013
New Guidance Will Enhance Sports Opportunities for Students with Disabilities
Inclusive Fitness Coalition compares impact to Title IX
WASHINGTON – Students with disabilities have reason to celebrate as they gain some headway in their fight for better, health, and greater participation in school activities. The Inclusive Fitness Coalition (IFC) and student athletes with disabilities all over the country today applauded guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The guidance clarifies schools’ responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehab Act) to provide athletic opportunities for students with disabilities.
The Lakeshore Storm defeated the Dallas Freewheelers 41-40 in overtime to win the Division III Championship in the Pioneer Classic Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at Lakeshore Foundation on Sunday. The Storm started strong and held the lead throughout the game although the Freewheelers trailed by only 2 points at halftime, 24-22. Lakeshore’s Chris Moore led the Storm with 15 points, Ford Buttram and Joon Reid added 8 points each.
The Storm could find itself ranked in the top 15 nationally by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. In its final two games, the Storm defeated the number seven and number sixteen teams. This is the team’s first Division III Championship at Pioneer since 2011.
In the Women’s Divison championship game, the University of Alabama defeated the University of Illinois by 21 points, 63-42.
In the Championship Division final, the Dallas Mavericks beat the University of Alabama men’s team 67-62 for the title. Alabama kept it close throughout a very physical contest, even pulling within one point with 8:03 left in the second half. But the Mavs would make some clutch shots, including a couple of foul shots in the final seconds for the 5-point victory. Dallas is ranked number one in the country in its division.
Connecting Rehab to Physical Activity
By Dr. Jim Rimmer
One evening in April 2008 I received one of those dreadful calls from my mother’s best friend. After repeatedly calling my mother during the day and getting no response, Phyllis decided to walk over to my mother’s apartment to check on her. It was unlike my mother to not pick up one of Phyllis’s phone calls during the day. They had a regular routine of checking in on one another. After several loud knocks on her apartment door with no response, she walked over to a neighbor’s apartment to get my mother’s extra key. What she and the neighbor found was a woman lying on the floor in her nightgown next to her bed for close to 20 hours. She had awakened in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and somehow ended up on the floor (which I later found out was the result of a fall-related hip fracture). My response to Phyllis’s phone call that evening from 1,000 miles away marked the beginning of a new journey caring for an 86-year-old woman who had previously been independent all her life.
After a couple of days in the hospital recovering from hip surgery, my mother was transported to a rehabilitation center where she spent the next four weeks undergoing rehabilitation twice a day. Her physical therapy sessions included learning to walk safely with a walker; performing upper and lower body strength and balance exercises (standing and sitting); and using an arm cycle ergometer.
Promoting social inclusion through physical activity
Bullying has become a hot topic lately in social media, the news, and awareness campaigns. Many reports have noted that students with disabilities are involved, but fail to mention them most often as the main target. There are several interventions surfacing to combat this “silent epidemic” with play being the main solution. In order for these interventions to have an impact on youth with disabilities the solution of play must be inclusive.
In recent years school bullying has received national attention contributing to all 50 states adopting anti-bullying laws, policies, or both (http://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/index.html#listing). The question now is how effective are these laws and anti-bullying programs for youth with disabilities? Several research studies have reported alarming new patterns for victims of bullying showcasing that individuals with intellectual disabilities such as autism spectrum disorders are at an increased risk http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1355390). A nationwide survey of more than 900 parents of students with an intellectual disability reported that 57% were being bullied. The rates of bullying among these youth are worryingly high, contributing this issue to a profound public health problem.
Do You Value Sport?
As we watched the exciting events that occurred over the past couple of weeks, the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality were on display. The elite athletes that competed on this global stage will no doubt inspire more young athletes to engage in sport. No matter what level of competition, the benefits of sport participation are immense. Through sport, children learn important life skills and improve their physical and mental health. Sport taught and played correctly also helps children at a very early age learn the importance of inclusion.
Unfortunately, the value of sport is sometimes lost in the great emphasis placed on winning. The events that occurred in the Olympic Badminton competition highlighted how the focus on winning can blur the lines of acceptable sportsmanship and cause the Olympic ideals to fall by the wayside. Even the recent decision by Lance Armstrong to state, “Enough is enough,” in the court battle with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency calls attention to the good and bad of winning that often goes beyond the person and infiltrates the sport.