Exploring psychosocial factors of athletes’ transition into parasport

Despite the benefits of participating in parasport and the growing acceptance of parasport for individuals with physical disabilities, there remain challenges with the uptake of parasport participation at both the individual and societal levels. The present study explored, from the perspectives of elite parasport athletes, psychosocial factors associated with transitioning into parasport.

Accessibility Design

The aim of this project was to describe the methodology used to propose design guidelines for accessible pedestrian infrastructures that are applicable in the province of Quebec's context. Three groups of experts were consulted separately: 1) individuals with motor, visual, and hearing disabilities (n=15), 2) health clinicians and researchers (n=11), 3) municipal employees, representatives from public transportation agencies and from the ministry of transportation.

Mobility Resource Catalogue(s)

A scoping review of educational online resources for mobility assistive technology users and their caregivers. The aims of this project are to: 1) Identify existing web-based educational resources intended to train people with disabilities and their caregivers on how to use their mobility devices (wheelchairs, walking aids); 2) Assess the quality of exiting educational resources; and 3) Develop a resources catalogue and a prototype of an online knowledge transfer tool to inform potential users of the availability of these educational resources.

Peer-led Wheelchair Training in the Community

The overall aim of this CDPP project is to continue evaluations of a peer-led manual wheelchair training program for community-living adults for improving wheelchair skills and participation. A peer-led wheelchair training program shows promise as a feasible intervention positively influences wheelchair use outcomes. Future studies will examine group-based training initiatives and will seek to further evaluate participation outcomes. Data collection on new projects will begin in Quebec City and Vancouver in Fall 2017.

National approaches to promote sport and physical activity: Canada & the Netherlands

The purposes of the study are 1) to describe how Canadian and Dutch governments promote high performance, recreational sports and physical activity among adults with disabilities on national level, and 2) to identify similarities and differences between both governmental approaches. Results indicated that both governments use different strategies to promote recreational sports and physical activities among people with disabilities. Moreover, the study discusses differences in governments’ views on the extent to which disability sports are integrated into non-disabled sports.

Smart-phone Delivered Peer-led Physical Activity Counselling

Despite the importance of physical activity, the evidence for effective intervention strategies for manual wheelchair (MWC) users is underdeveloped. Community-based programs and telephone-counselling interventions to increase physical activity among MWC users have had some success, but the uptake and adherence to these interventions remains low within this population. Although the physical activity needs of MWC users are not fully understood, there is reason to believe that including peers into intervention delivery may have benefits.

Quality physical activity participation among military Veterans with a physical disability

Three studies were conducted to examine quality of physical activity participation among military Veterans with a physical disability. The first study explored views of Veterans with a physical disability regarding quality physical activity experiences. Four quality elements were identified (group cohesion, challenge, having a role, and independence and choice), as well as three conditions that are important for supporting a quality experience (the physical and social environment, and program structure).

Case-Book of Community-Based Best-Practices

A MITACS-funded postdoctoral fellow has been working at the Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation (SSDF) on a series of program evaluation projects. Comprehensive interviews and focus groups have been undertaken with participants, volunteers and staff for each of the SSDF projects.  A survey is being prepared to assess a larger proportion of participants. A report will be prepared and results will be formulated into a case-book that can be used by other organizations to learn about challenges, opportunities, and best-practices in community programming for people with disabilities.

Parent Support Study

The purpose of this project is to examine predictors of parental support behaviour for sport participation among youth with disabilities.  Elicitation data have been collected (N=25) and were analyzed to inform the development of a questionnaire. Further data were collected using the developed questionnaire (N=114).  These data are currently being analyzed to be included in a manuscript.