Promotion, Dissemination, and Practical Application of Results & Findings in the Field of Physical Activity for Populations with Disabilities and/or Special Needs
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Joonkoo Yun, Ph.D. - East Carolina University
I hope each of you have enjoyed the summer and had the chance to take some time off! I heard more than 70 friends and colleagues from North America participated in the 2021 virtual ISAPA conference hosted by the University of Jyväskylä. I hope each of you learned a new idea, and that this positive energy will carry over to the next NAFAPA conference.
As many of you know, the 2022 NAFAPA conference will be hosted by Brock University on October 11–13, 2022. Brock University is in the Niagara region in St. Catharines, Ontario, known as the “Garden City.” The city is surrounded by lush orchards and vineyards to the east and west and bordered by the Niagara Escarpment to the south and Lake Ontario to the north. Brock University sits on top of the beautiful Niagara escarpment and is the only Canadian University with the distinction of being part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. I hope we will be able to see each other and find time to enjoy the beautiful campus.
I also need to deliver some sad news. I recently learned that our beloved Dr. Claudine Sherrill passed away on May 8, 2020. She is often referred to as the mother of adapted physical activity, and she made a significant impact on the development of our discipline. There is no doubt that all of us have been somewhat influenced by her academic contributions. Dr. Sherrill completed her doctoral degree at Columbia University in 1961, and she was a faculty member at Texas Woman’s University for over 40 years. She is the author of Adapted Physical Activity, Recreation, and Sport: Cross Disciplinarily and Lifespan, one of the most widely used textbooks, and published over 160 manuscripts. She was a strong advocate for defining Adapted Physical Activity as a cross-disciplinary profession to serve individuals with disabilities and fight for prejudice and inclusion of individuals with disabilities. We lost a great leader, but I am confident her spirits and intellectual contributions will last forever.
Dr. Janice Causgrove Dunn | University of Alberta
Janice Causgrove Dunn is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta, and she completed all three of her degrees at UAlberta – Bachelor of Physical Education, a Master of Science (Adapted Physical Activity) and a PhD (Adapted Physical Activity). During her Master’s degree she was supervised by Dr. Ted Wall initially, and then Dr. Jane Watkinson (when Ted left UAlberta for a new position at McGill University). Dr. Causgrove Dunn taught adapted physical activity as a Lecturer for 3 years at Lakehead University prior to completing her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Jane Watkinson and with Dr. Marcel Bouffard as a supervisory committee member. She held a faculty position in adapted physical activity at the University of Regina for 3 years before taking up her position at the University of Alberta in 1997.
The major focus of Dr. Causgrove’s research in adapted physical activity has been on psychosocial factors that affect motivation and participation in physical activity for children who live with disability.
She has based her work on several motivation theories, including Competence Motivation Theory, Achievement Goal Theory and Self-Determination Theory, and she has examined motivational constructs and participation in settings such as recess, physical education, and community programs. Another research area Dr. Causgrove Dunn has developed interest in – likely influenced by her administrative appointments in associate dean roles over the last 15 years, is post-secondary adapted physical activity curricula. Currently she is involved in two projects relating to this interest with her colleagues at the University of Alberta — one looking at ableism in post-secondary curricula, and in the other at co-creating disability-affirming curriculum content based on the perspectives of disability knowledge holders. She also has a subsidiary area of research outside of the realm adapted physical activity, in the area of perfectionism in sport.
Dr. Causgrove Dunn has worked with many excellent colleagues and collaborators. This includes graduate students, from whom she has learned a great deal as they developed and pursued research in areas of shared interest. For example, the dissertation research of recent graduate student Dr. Chantelle Zimmer (currently at the University of Calgary) focused on how children with movement difficulties cope with everyday stressors in physical education, and the pedagogical practices teachers use to support them in this physical activity context. The findings provided important insight into ways the social environment can be altered to fulfill children’s needs for relatedness, competence, and autonomy as well as support adaptive coping processes, promoting positive experiences and better meeting children’s educational needs. Another recent graduate, Dr. Kyle Pushkarenko (currently at Memorial University of Newfoundland) completed a scoping review of the literature pertaining to physical literacy and individuals living with disability, and examined experiences of physical literacy programs for children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder from the perspectives of their mothers and their instructors. His work raises questions about the inclusivity of physical literacy as it is currently conceived, and ableism in the conceptualization and delivery of physical literacy programs for these children.
Dr. Causgrove Dunn is a past president of NAFAPA as well as a past NAFAPA representative to IFAPA. She has attended every NAFAPA Symposium, including the first one in Montreal in 1992 when she was a graduate student. With the help and support of her colleagues at the University of Alberta, she was conference director for the 2016 NAFAPA Symposium in Edmonton. For several years she coordinated the Children’s Physical Activity and Study Program and Patricia Austin lab at UAlberta, as well as coordinated the Patricia Austin Graduate Student Research Award presented at the NAFAPA symposiums. She was a member of the editorial board of APAQ for over 20 years (1997 to 2021), including a term as an associate editor. These activities have afforded Dr. Causgrove Dunn excellent opportunities to make connections (and develop friendships) with researchers around the world, and read some of the latest and most exciting research in the field.
Contact Information: : firstname.lastname@example.org
LightUp | Wayne State University, Detroit, MI | Dr. Leah Ketcheson
Dr. Leah Ketcheson is the Executive Director for LightUp, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life in individuals with disabilities. Dr. Ketcheson has been with LightUp for 6 years. LightUp partners with Wayne State University to provide community based practicum experiences for children and youth with disabilities. Photos resemble the programming when it was in person. However, this past year the program has been delivered virtually. LightUp will return in person in January, 2022.
Dr. Ketcheson’s research focuses on community based interventions which promote positive trajectories of health for children on the autism spectrum and their parents/ caregivers. Recent research examined virtual delivery of a physical activity and nutrition education program.
PLANE (Physical Literacy and Nutrition Education)
A Program Where Children with Autism Can Soar!
Over the past two decades, rates of ASD have increased 150%. While developmental deficits typically present in social engagement, evidence now suggests that children with ASD also experience significant health disparities. Most discouraging is that a variety of sociodemographic variables place children at an increased risk for obesity, including urban residency and level of parent education. One key contributor to the presence of these health disparities is the well-documented lack of accessible health and nutrition programs, especially in low-income communities. While knowledge and engagement with appropriate services and support networks may curb some of these disparities, parents of children with ASD report a significant absence of such services in and around Detroit, Michigan.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has only magnified the need to address health among vulnerable populations. While there has been a growing trend in the delivery of telehealth interventions, the delivery of such methods for children on the autism spectrum, and their caregivers remains relatively under examined.
Therefore, the primary goal of PLANE (Physical Literacy And Nutrition Education) is to promote positive trajectories of health for children on the autism spectrum and their primary caregivers through the delivery of a telehealth physical activity and nutrition education program. The study is a pre-experimental analysis of PLANE across 12 months. All activities are being delivered virtually through weekly synchronous and asynchronous programming. A total of 180 participants have been enrolled in this intervention, including children on the autism spectrum and caregivers from in and around Detroit, MI.
Each week a new physical activity skill along with opportunities for recipe assembly are being delivered remotely. Supplemental material are disseminated online including; step by step directions outlining behavioral skill methodology, opportunities for additional skill practice, and reading material that support weekly topics. Study outcomes are being examined in the parent-child dyad and include rates of overweight/obesity, physical activity, nutrition and quality of life. Finally, feasibility of the telehealth intervention is also being measured. Justification for the conceptualization and delivery of PLANE is well warranted, and PLANE represents a promising intervention which is scalable, sustainable, and replicable.
This study has been generously awarded $500,000 by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.
Contact Information: : email@example.com
Layne Case | Doctoral Student | Oregon State University
Layne (Laynie) Case is a recent graduate of the PhD program at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. Layne just completed the fourth year of her PhD program in Kinesiology, with an option in Adapted Physical Activity. She studied under Dr. Sam Logan, and was co-advised by Dr. Joonkoo (JK) Yun.
Previously, Layne Case received her Masters of Science in Exercise and Sport Science, with an emphasis in Movement Studies in Disability, from Oregon State University. Her thesis was a comparison of TGMD-3 performance using traditional versus video modeling conditions among youth on the autism spectrum. She was employed as an Autism Motor Specialist at the Chico State Autism Clinic in Chico, California for two years before returning to Oregon State for her PhD. From 2018-2020, Layne served as the graduate coordinator of Oregon State University’s IMPACT program, which is a motor skills and fitness service-learning program for children with disabilities. This expanded her interests in professional preparation through service-learning.
Broadly, Layne Case’s research has focused on evaluating physical activity and gross motor skill participation among children with disabilities as well as evaluating the way preservice Kinesiology professionals and pre-service physical educators are prepared to view and work with children with disabilities in those settings. She has recently enjoyed exploring how current practices, coursework, or existing research in adapted physical activity and education align with recommendations from the literature or from the disability community.
Layne's research interests are influenced by a want to improve access to physical activity and gross motor skill participation to children in ways that centre their interests and their choices.
Layne Case just successfully defended her dissertation, which focuses on evaluating the alignment of adapted physical activity/education service-learning with studentcentered and disability-entered best-practice recommendations, such as reflection, formal student evaluation, and involvement of people with disabilities in program planning. She has co-authored 12 publications (7 as first author) seen in journals such as Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, Disability and Health Journal, Autism Research, and Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.
When Layne first started to engage in adapted physical activity settings, she was very interested, but felt that she was unprepared and had very little ongoing support. Her research is often influenced by those experiences, and, regardless of the research question, she tends to look at her research through a lens of how this work can guide Kinesiology professionals, particularly college students, to engage with and support children with disabilities in their work.
Layne Case was awarded a graduate fellowship funded by the U.S. Department of Education on a leadership training grant (PI’s: MacDonald/Yun) upon entering her PhD. She received the Patricia Austin Graduate Research award at the 2018 NAFAPA symposium for an unpublished meta-analysis on the effect of different intervention approaches on gross motor outcomes among children with autism. This work has since been published in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. Lastly, in 2020, Layne was honored to be awarded SHAPE America’s Adapted Physical Activity/Education Graduate Student of the year award.
Outside of her studies, Layne enjoys playing indoor soccer and coaching gymnastics. She has loved living in Oregon and prioritizes spending time on the weekends to be outdoors and explore hiking trails. Layne has an Australian shepherd puppy named Moose, and he currently takes up the majority of her time outside of work.
Contact Information: : Twitter - @laynekcase
Tip for Making a Difference in Academia:
Dr. Andrew H. Lewis | Associate Professor Emeritus, College of Charleston
As you begin your professional career, know that there will be many straight, curved and sometime dark paths during this journey. However, the goal is to complete your academic work and begin your career with enthusiasm. Your success will not be determined in a day and the legacy you leave will not be measured by one or two outcomes. Think of the journey as the dash between the beginning of your educational experiences to completion of the highest degree earned and beyond. The beyond refers to a lifetime of learning. Most Institutions of Higher education view and evaluate professionals in three areas: Teaching, Research and Service. While evaluations in a K-12 setting may appear to be standard, do not be misled because there are many pitfalls one must be concerned with to be successful. Professionals in the field of Adapted Physical Education (APE) are often working without a community (others with APE experiences and knowledge) and often find themselves isolated. Therefore, I will offer tips to address the isolation in academia first.
1. Become a strong APE advocate, learn the culture of your environment and invite others to seek you out for help. The faculty lounge or break room should not be a location where you are well known.
2. Make yourself know to administrator leaders and sell your expertise in the APE field to your colleagues.
3. Regardless of the position (K-12 or University) know that the community of scholars that share your specific knowledge base will be small. Seek to expand this base by engaging others. Help them to better understand why it is important that ALL students get a quality education.
4. Structure your teaching in ways that bring others (students, faculty, staff, parents) into your world. Keep in mind that many of your colleagues may have never experienced a positive exchange with a person that has a disability.
5. Expand your scholarly endeavors by becoming an active member in professional organizations.
The teacher scholar model is one that promotes personal and academic growth and development. To be successful in the academia one must want to make a meaningful change in the lives of those they interact with, not just the student. Young Scholars will be asked to do many things. Therefore, I have elected to offer tips in the three areas below.
1. First and foremost, make sure your teaching is well planned, of high quality, and presented with clarity. Just showing up in the classroom does not produce quality instructional outcomes.
2. Regardless of the level at which you teach, keep in mind. Those who fail to Plan, Plan to fail.
3. Always and in different ways seek to challenge and engage students in the learning process.
4. You can truly make a difference by setting high standards and always seek to bring your students up to those standards.
1. Quality research is not easy and will require your attention and time. Find a topic(s) that excite your passion.
2. Seek to produce quality research that will help others better understand the importance of your work.
3. Seek to build a community of scholars and work with others within and outside the field of APE.
4. It is import that you continue to take part in scholarly efforts (K-12 and University) that improve your knowledge base.
1. Becoming part of the larger community (city, school, university, business) through your service is very important for success.
2. Nominate yourself to serve on committees.
3. Volunteer to work on projects important to your school, university and/or community.
4. Develop programs to serve individuals with disabilities from the community at large.
In conclusion, if you want to have a long and impactful professional career remember: respect others, provide quality instruction, expand the APE knowledge base and work to serve others. Keep these thoughts in mind as you travel your professional journey: Be proud, Inspire others and Most importantly always be yourself.
Contact Information: LewisA@cofc.edu
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