Envisioning Innovation at the Intersection of Sport and Disability: A Blueprint for American Higher Education
Keywords:Higher Education, Goalball, Sport, Disability, Innovation
In January 2013, the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights issued policy guidelines to ensure that students with disabilities have equal opportunities to participate in extracurricular athletic activities in public elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools. To date, few educational institutions, particularly within higher education, have met this national need. This paper describes a pilot course offered at a large public university on the west coast of the United States that combines learning about disability studies while participating in goalball, a sport designed for individuals with visual impairments. The implementation of this pilot program highlights the challenges and opportunities for educational institutions to offer students with disabilities, particularly students with visual impairments, equal opportunities to participate in athletics. The paper envisions innovation at the intersection of sport and disability and offers a possible blueprint for other colleges and universities that seek to create similar extra or co-curricular opportunities in line with the OCR’s policy guidelines.
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