Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Supporting and Limiting Factors for Inclusion and Empowerment of Children with Physical Disabilities in Physical Education: An Intraindividual Perspective

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Supporting and Limiting Factors for Inclusion and Empowerment of Children with Physical Disabilities in Physical Education: An Intraindividual Perspective

Article excerpt

Yeshayahu Hutzler, Osnat Fliess, and Anat Chacham, The Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences and the Israeli Sport center for Children with Disabilities, and Yves van den Auweele, KU, Belgium

The problem and its significance: Based on the American IDEA, children with disabilities are increasingly being included in physical education classes around the world. However, very limited information has been reported so far regarding children's own perceptions of the inclusion process, and its influence on individuals' development. This study is based on the belief that the aim of the inclusion process is to empower children with disabilities and reduce barriers to their well being, Socialization and self-actualization. Empowerment refers to gaining control over one's life and assuming responsibility for changes that lead to a healthy, active lifestyle and positive mental health. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore children's personal experiences within the inclusive environment, and identify supporting and limiting mechanisms to their inclusion and empowerment. A convenience sample of 10 children (8 girls and 2 boys) with physical disability was established based on personal contact. Their pa rents completed an informed consent. A hierarchical class analysis was performed based on relevant situations, emotions and behaviors reported via semistructured interviews. …

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