Let's Move: Creating More Opportunities For Children With Disabilities To Be Physically Active
With our nation now placing a greater emphasis on regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy fitness level and fighting childhood obesity; I find it very disheartening that there are not more opportunities in our country for children with disabilities to participate in physical activity and athletics.
As a future graduate of the University of Virginia's Master's program in Adapted Physical Education, I have had a first-hand look at the limited opportunities for youth with disabilities within the Charlottesville, VA area. In fact, without the local Special Olympics programs, the opportunities are almost non-existent. Here lies the problem.
Children with intellectual, physical and sensory disabilities need and should have access to programs in which they can learn and participate in team and individual sports. Most of all, they should be given the opportunity to interact with peers, both with and without disabilities, while being physically active.
Similar to Mrs. Obama's efforts with her Let's Move Campaign, it is our duty as adapted physical activity professionals to create, provide, and advocate for physical activity programs and opportunities for children with disabilities. The possibilities are endless! Formal disability sports, community recreation programs, and simply walking with peers during physical education or after school are just a few examples. I hope that all of us who are involved in physical activity programs for children with disabilities will recommit ourselves to make sure that all children with disabilities are given opportunities to be physically active.
Tamika R. Jones