Promotion, Dissemination, and Practical Application of Results & Findings in the Field of Physical Activity for Populations with Disabilities and/or Special Needs
Check our Twitter to find the latest news and event faster!
Check our Instagram to find the latest news and event faster!
Joonkoo Yun, Ph.D. - East Carolina University
Greeting from Greenville! I cannot believe it is already time to wrap up the Fall semester. Although we all may feel like we are a rat on a spinning wheel, I hope each of you takes a break and enjoys this Newsletter. First, I thank Roxy and Kristen for putting a nice newsletter together once again. In this issue, we highlight our wonderful friend from Canada, Meghann Lloyd and a word of wisdom from my long-time mentor, Jeff McCubbin. It is great to see our future leaders, Joseline’ story, and learn more about Camp Rad at Georgia State University. I hope each of you enjoys the stories. Also, once you successfully finish this semester, I want you to take the time to consider a few followings.
The 2022 NAFAPA conference will be held at Brock University in October. We are looking for a host for the 2024 NAFAPA conference. Hosting a conference sounds scary, but as a former NAFAPA conference organizer, I can tell you that it is worth it. We will start seeking the 2024 conference site in Spring 2022. Second, NAFAPA has a long history of recognized excellent graduate student research. The Patricia Austin Graduate Student Award recipient will give a keynote presentation at the 2022 NAFAPA conference. We will open the competition in late Spring which will be managed by the present elect, Justin Haegele from Old Dominion University. The student will be required to submit a full manuscript. This winter break is an excellent time to start preparing the manuscript.
Also, we have formally named the Allen W. Burton New Investigator Award. Dr. Burton was prolific research and educator in the field of adapted physical activity, and he developed Ecological Task Analysis with Dr. Walter Davis. The current NAFAPA present will manage the competition, and we are looking for an outstanding young scholar who well represents Dr. Burton’s legacy. Please nominate the young scholar. Lastly, we will recognize a career achievement through the Dale A. Ulrich Leadership Award. The inaugural awardee was Dr. Viviane Temple from the University of Victoria. We are looking for an outstanding professional who made a significant impact on adapted physical activity. The competition will be managed by the past president of NAFAPA, Dr. Agiovlasitis, from Mississippi State University. The specific details of all awards will be announced in early Spring 2022 and presented at the 2022 meeting at Brock University. I hope you all have a wonderful winter break!
Dr. Meghann Lloyd | Ontario Tech Univerisity, Oshawa, ON, Canada
Dr. Lloyd is an Associate Professor and a Research Associate at Grandview Children’s
Centre. She has been at Ontario Tech for 11.5 years after working at as a Research
Scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario for 2 years after finishing her
PhD. Lloyd’s undergraduate degree is from Acadia University where she discovered her
passion for Adapted Physical Activity through volunteering with the SMILE Program.
Lloyd then did a Master’s at McGill University with Dr. Greg Reid and then a PhD at the
University of Michigan with Dr. Dale Ulrich.
Dr. Lloyd's research has focused on fundamental motor skill interventions for 3-5 year old children with children with autism spectrum disorder.
Dr. Lloyd recently wrapped up a 3 year SSHRC funded study and the results are looking really good – stay-tuned! Another research focus has been the health of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who participate in Special Olympics. The research team has published several papers using Special Olympics’ Healthy Athletes database and are currently working on different data from Special Olympics Ontario linked with Ontario administrative health databases. These results are also very exciting and will hopefully be published soon. Dr. Lloyd was recently awarded the Ontario Tech University Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision in 2019 and I previously was awarded the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity, Young Researcher Award in 2015.
Meghann Lloyd has two major grants under review right now, and if funded will be actively looking for both Master’s and PhD students. The first grant is a 5 year follow up study of my motor skill intervention to see if there are any long-term developmental outcomes associated with the motor skill intervention compared to children with ASD who did not receive a motor skill intervention. The team will be looking at fundamental motor skills, adaptive behaviour, social and communication skills, as well as physical activity. The second grant is looking at the intersection of race and disability for families accessing pediatric rehabilitation and disability services at Grandview Children’s Centre. They will be conducting a large demographic census (approximately 25,000 families) as well as numerous focus groups to be able to describe the lived experience of these families accessing pediatric rehabilitation services, as well as engaging in a coproduction process to develop professional development resources for the Grandview staff and clinicians. Both these grants will have funding for grad students, starting in the spring of 2022.
Contact Information: : email@example.com
Camp RAD | Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA | Dr. Gavin Colquitt
Dr. Gavin Colquitt is the Executive Director of the Center for Rehabilitation and Independent Living at Georgia Southern University. His research focuses on community-based interventions to improve physical activity and health outcomes for people with disabilities. His work with families in southeast Georgia with caregivers and service providers indicated the need for more affordable opportunities to learn life skills related to independent living to assist families as the adolescent living with a disability transitions into adulthood. In 2010, Dr. Colquitt founded Camp RAD (Recreation for Adolescents with Disabilities) to meet the needs of the community in southeast Georgia. The mission of Camp RAD is to empower transition-age youth with disabilities to live health, independent lives. Camp RAD uses an interdisciplinary approach that utilizes experts in the fields of pediatric occupational, physical, and speech therapy, adaptive physical activity, public health, and nutrition.
We provide a fun, safe summer experience that promotes life skills and physical activity with a focus on the comprehensive well-being of the child. Our interdisciplinary team of professionals uses an innovated model to plan, implement, monitor progress, and evaluate camp.
In the state of Georgia, approximately 12.8% of the population lives with a medically diagnosed disability. In Effingham County, approximately 15% are people living with disabilities (over the age of 5). People living with disabilities are more likely to experience negative health outcomes than those not living with a disability and are more likely to lack access to health care. Transitional issues is one of the primary obstacles facing families of children with disabilities in rural areas. Rural schools and their communities lack many of the typical resources that promote positive health behavior and rural residents are less likely to use existing resources due to environmental barriers such as lack of public transportation. Schools are typically the only opportunity for social interaction with peers and in the community, and the summer represents a period time where social skills deteriorate and students feel isolated.
Group activities in each of the key areas- adapted physical activity and sport, health education, and life skills training- are developed based on weekly themes such as nutrition and fitness.
Camp RAD provides experiences in adapted physical activity and sport, health education, and life skills training, using the World Health Organization’s International Classification on Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) as a planning framework. Using the ICF linking rules, staff create an individual profile for each camper that is created by a review of multiple data sources such as the Individualized Evaluation Plan (IEP), physical/occupational/speech therapy evaluations, and objective assessments. These data are reviewed and coded using the ICF, and areas in need of improvement are identified. Functional goals for each camper are then developed. Each week, every camper is assessed on the progress towards these goals.
Counselors individualize group activities based on the functional goals of the camper. Each week, the camp takes trips into the community associated with the weekly thematic content. For example, the week focusing on nutrition and fitness coincides with a trip to a grocery store where campers shop for their own items to make a healthy snack. The same week also involves a field trip to a local restaurant, which uses a specially designed menu for Camp RAD attendees to select appropriate portions and make healthy food choices.
Contact Information: : firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseline Raja-Vora | Doctoral Student | Oregon State University
Joseline Raja-Vora is a 4th Year/doctoral candidate studying Kinesiology, focusing on
Adapted Physical Activity. Joseline completed her masters in Public Health in Health
Promotion and Health Behavior (OSU – Spring 2020). Her main area of research is in
physical activity promotion and physical activity leadership for young adults with
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Raja-Vora is currently leading 2
1: Physical activity leadership for young adults with IDD – The goal of this project is to aid young adults with IDD to achieve their dream of being
fitness instructors. I conceptualized this project two years back, and ever since have been building connections with local disability organizations and self-advocates with IDD, along with 2 faculty members. Guided by the principles of Community-based participatory research (CBPR), we now have 4 community collaborators with IDD as equal stakeholders in this project. We procured funding to compensate our community collaborators for their time. In a couple of days, we will be conducting 3 mutually exclusive focus groups with 3 groups of stakeholders: (i) self-advocates with IDD, (ii) local fitness instructors and hiring managers of local fitness centers, and (iii) caregivers/support personnel of people with IDD and representatives of organizations that serve people with IDD.
2: Virtual physical activity promotion for young adults with IDD (Dissertation project) – The goal of this project is to guide emerging adults with IDD to be motivated to engage in sustained physical activity. Grounded in self-determination theory, participants will meet with me virtually once every week to set weekly goals for their physical activity and develop skills to self-monitor activity using a Fitbit, while having autonomy to engage in physical activities of their choice. In the hopes that they use the Fitbit for lifelong motivation in physical activity, participants will get to keep the Fitbit when they complete the study. Funding to purchase new Fitbits as incentives for participants came from the ACSM Northwest Student Research Grant.
In her second year, Raja-Vora led and successfully completed the primary data collection on a project studying the influence of a socially assistive robot on physical activity, social play behavior, and toy-use behaviors of children in a free play environment. The manuscript with data from this project just got accepted for publication with the Frontiers in Robotics and AI (section Human-Robot Interaction) journal.
What influenced (or continues to influence) your research interests?
“Having limited interaction with people with disabilities growing up, I initially got interested in the
field coming from a more medical model lens of disability. I noticed the inequalities, ‘othering’
and social exclusion of children with disabilities around me. I empathized with these children
and was determined to improve the quality of lives of folks with disabilities, specially those with
IDD. Working with community members with IDD as equal partners for the past three years has
broadened my perspective to now ‘partner with’ rather than ‘work for’ people with disabilities.
This motivates me to continue research and service in the field. My career goal is to seek a
position as an Extension faculty. In this future position I would love to partner with community-based
organizations that support people with disabilities and other underserved communities, to
identify the specific needs of the community and partner with them to address those needs”.
Raja-Vora has received the ACSM Northwest Student Research Grant, was a National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Health and Disability Fellow, American Association on Health and Disability – Translation and Dissemination Intern, and received the Steven O. Skaggs Award of Excellence. Additionally, Raja-Vora has received the Oregon Community Foundation (Oregon Community Recovery Fund) grant
and the Oregon Health and Science University Community Engagement Grant.
Contact information: LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/joselinerajavora
Tip for Young Scholars
Dr. Jeff McCubbin | Deam Emeritus and Professor, Colorado State University
Building a career in higher education takes a longstanding commitment to education and the value of a career in teaching, scholarship and service. My recommendations that follow come from time to reflect on a career in higher education that spanned 36 years of full-time employment in higher education, not counting my college and graduate school years. And, I
will try to limit what is in this column and focus on my view of what’s most critical. Speaking of FOCUS, my former dean and colleague Tammy Bray used to love remind us don’t forget the f-word, FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS.
She borrowed from leadership guru Jim Collins from the book Good to Great, as the secret to greatness was to focus on three questions: (1) what are you passionate about; 2) what drives your resources; 3) what can you be the best in the world. And she/they were right, you have to be focused to do your best work. It is very easy to get distracted from what drove you to be a new scholar.
So I decided to use the “F word” as an acronym to guide for my comments. F-O-C-U-S,
to offer for building successful careers that make an impact on your community and the
F: I thought the importance of Fitness, and making time daily for physical activity. But I settled on Family or family first.
You all have families, and I urge you to recognize that as you build your career, realize the importance of family first. That is hard to manage at times with the multiple professional obligations or tugs on your career. You also are building professional families or networks of colleagues that have likely begun but will continue to grow. These networks are also important. Yet your family, those nearest and dearest to you need to remain your priority. Sounds simple, but it is not.
O: My advice is to be opportunistic.
Career paths are not linear, nor in some way planned as precisely as you might have envisioned. Opportunities do not necessarily present themselves at the “right” time, and yet when those opportunities come before you, you need to be open to exploring and
seeing how this opportunity might emerge.
One such opportunity for me was when my former dean at Oregon State came up to me near the end of an academic year and said, “Congratulations you are now a full professor, I would like you to be my associate dean of research”… I was not thinking of
that career path as I was only focused on getting promoted. That conversation created opportunities for me that pushed me in a new direction – and despite what many of my faculty colleagues believe it is not going over to the “other” side of higher education.
C: My C word is Creativity.
Sure we all need to be competitive and we need to use our scientific expertise to seek scientific certainty. However, creativity is what we need to solve our biggest challenges. It is important to for scholars to bring groups together with different backgrounds and experiences with unique perspectives. Such opportunities can bring new ideas to old problems takes creative thinking or design thinking. Willingness to ‘fail forward’ or to come around/over or through barriers to get to new ideas. Be willing to work in groups wherein you may be uncomfortable by different points of view, yet creativity allows you to bring unique and creative views to address a really big challenge.
U: I chose Universal.
Our academic careers have focused on how to advocate and/or facilitate opportunities for people with disabilities in various types of educational, health promotion, sport and physical activity settings. Helping students and others to see how to create settings that were universally designed … or designed for all. We must strive to help all faculty and staff appreciate the need for universally designed interventions or instruction, wherein all students, faculty and staff have the same access to all content in an educational setting.
Lastly S: I chose sustainability.
Your collective careers will no doubt have a lasting impact on improving the lives of people, however a career that builds for the future is sustainable. Sustainable research programs, community-based programs, sustainable food systems, sustainable
communities, policies that promote sustainability are critical for us to have the biggest collective impact. Creating programs that build sustainable infrastructures including sustainable funding are critical. Help design and or create the future by building ideas,
and programs that can continue to grow.
In closing, take time to celebrate your significant accomplishments so far, but what’s in your future is where you will really make an impact. I am confident that your impact on the world has just begun. It will no doubt occur in classrooms, communities, laboratories and schools, homes and through policies/practices that will improve the quality of life of people in your community and beyond.
Contact Information: jeff.McCubbin@colostate.edu
North American Federation of Adapted Physical Activity 2022 Conference
Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday - Thursday, October 11-13, 2022
Conference Theme: Communities of practice
Health & Physical Literacy Summit
Hyatt Regency - Birmingham, Alabama
February 13 - 15, 2022
Graduate Assistant Position- Mississippi State University
Dr. Stamatis Agiovlasitis at Mississippi State University invites applications for a Graduate Teaching Assistantships for students interested in pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in Exercise Science under his supervision. The general theme of the lab is Physical Activity and Health in Individuals with Down Syndrome.
Interested individuals should send CV and a Statement of Interest (1 page) to Dr. Stamatis Agiovlasitis at: email@example.com. Start date is Fall 2022. Click here for more information about MSU graduate programs.
Opportunity to Submit Announcements
Do you have an announcement to be featured in the November 2021 issue of the NAFAPA Newsletter? If so, please contact the editors today!