The european collaboration of integration in practice: cd-rom adapt - a common european curriculum in adapted physical activity

Por: Annelies Van Peteghem, Herman Van Coppenolle, Iana Dobreva e Stefka Djobova.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction

Despite promotions and regulations on integration of people with disabilities, it is a fact that too many people are still excluded and deprived of opportunities to participate in society.

Children and adults with a disability are often excluded from participation in regular physical education due to the fact that they are not fully integrated in the regular school system and society. Partly this is due to the lack of knowledge. The European education system is unprepared for meeting the needs of people with disabilities in an integrated setting.

In order to bridge this educational gap in 1999 a Thematic Network for Educational and Social integration of Persons with a Disability through Adapted Physical Activity (THENAPA) was started. The aim of the project was to improve education of Adapted Physical Activity (APA) professionals throughout Europe to in turn improve quality of life for persons with disabilities.

Methods

During four years, experts from 23 European countries united their knowledge and experience and agreed on a common European programme of the basics in APA and sports for persons with a disability. They defined the number of credits as well as the fundamental content of the future European training programmes in this domain at all educational levels, in the studies of physical education, rehabilitation, recreation and sport performance.

In order to make this basic curriculum attractive and visual, we have produced the CD-ROM ‘ADAPT’.

Results

The ‘ADAPT’ CD-ROM is a multimedia tool and valuable resource for on campus and distance learning and is intended for students, professionals (teachers, coaches, instructors) and layman (volunteers, family members and friends of individuals with a disability) interested in Adapted Physical Activity and sport. Its purpose is to function as a self-study guide for the students and to assist the teachers in their classes with video materials and brief outlines. ADAPT is also a mean for lifelong learning that can be used by current specialists and practitioners, who don’t have enough information about the field of Adapted Physical activity and sports.

By using a rich collection of inspiring visual materials the intention of the CD-ROM is to motivate individuals with disabilities to participate in APA at all levels and areas, including rehabilitation, education, recreation and elite sports.

The ultimate goal of ADAPT is to increase the quality of life of individuals with disabilities across their life-span through participation in quality programmes of APA.

The ADAPT provides the basic information in 10 categories: APA Concepts; Health Conditions; Assessment; Intervention; Sports and Organisations; Classification; Training; Teaching; Coaching; Technology and Accessibility; Social Environment; Science. The CD-ROM is accessible by main categories and subcategories. A separate link, named “Read more” is available for those who are looking for references or more resources, related to a specific topic.

The ADAPT gives an access to the THENAPA website, making available the updated information of the ever developing community services and technical aspects of APA.

Discussion / Conclusions

With the creation of the CD-ROM “ADAPT” we expect to:

§         continue improving the process of integration and inclusion of people with disabilities in sport, recreation activities and physical education lessons

§         create opportunities for individuals with disabilities to be active and have equal rights of participation and learning in order to eradicate discrimination and unequal treatment

§         attract more attention to the field of adapted physical activities and sports

 

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