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Transcript of Sports Equipment
Why use equipment?
Equipment is an essential part of almost every sport, recreational or competitive. The type of equipment used is a very influential part of the game.
Equipment Enhances Function
The World Health Organization developed a method to classify and document individuals with and without disabilities. This method is called the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health.
Equipment is only as good as it fits. It must "fit" an athlete, both in size and functionality. For example: A poorly fitting prosthesis or wheelchair may result in soft tissue damage, where there is contact with the device. Finding equipment and having it sized can be difficult and sometimes comes at a large expense.
KIN 584 - Disability Sports and Adaptive Aquatics
West Chester University
For example: Recreation swimmers may only use a bathing suit and possibly goggles and/or nose plugs, where as competitive swimmers use a bathing suit, goggles, nose plugs, along with blocks, kickers and pull bouys.
A participant's purpose, recreational or competitive, is highly dependent on the level of sophistication of equipment.
For example: While playing badminton at a backyard BBQ, participants may use an racket they might find, not worrying too much about technology. However, olympic badminton players are going to use a racket with optimal technology to have maximum performance.
Identifying the appropriate equipment for each sporting activity is an important first step, but making sure each participant is utilizing all the required equipment is even more important.
Regular equipment checks should be done, to ensure safety for all participants.
Sports-related injuries account for a growing portion of youth injuries every year. More and more children participate in a wide array of sports and are suffering more serious and more frequent injuries as a result.
Body Function and Structure
The functions that a body can perform based on its physiology and anatomy.
Activity and Participation
The activities or skills that can be performed and how those skills can be used to participate in a sport.
Environment and Context
The influence of factors external to the individual.
The ICF model closely parallels to the major categories of equipment.
Something an idividual essentially wears, designed to enhance body function, structure or both.
Designed to enhance the performance of an activity or participation in a specific sport.
Used to modify the facilities or environments in which the sport is played.
*Most people with disabilities rely on the same equipment used by people without disabilities. However, modified or specialized equipment can also be used in order to compensate for changes in function that result from the disability.*
Personal Equipment should be treated as part of an athlete's body. It is something that he or she "wears."
Electronically controlled reel and rod holder for people who wish to still fish.
Skis and snowboards which are made for people with little to no movement of the bottom half of their body.
Modified breathing valves are made for individuals who wish to go skydiving but require a ventilator to breathe.
Sports like power wheelchair soccer and hockey are for those who wish to play soccer or hockey but require a wheel chair for mobility.
Many adaptations can be made for individuals who wish to bowl. These adaptations include pins that beep, bowling sticks, balls with handles, or specialty ramps (shown above).
Adaptations to paddles can be made for individuals who wish to canoe or kayak. Outriggers can also be added to the boat to help with stability.
A hockey puck that rattles is used during hockey games with individuals with partial or total loss of eye sight.
It's important to know there is a wealth of available adaptations for a variety of sports and activities. Regardless the type of sport, someone with a disability has already tried it.
Gymnasiums, courts, swimming pools, playing fields and ski hills are all examples of environmental technologies that enable sport and recreation to take place.
The design of these areas is important, especially to facilitating or limiting the participation of people with disabilities.
Things to consider when designing a facility...
Is the facility easily accessable for people of all abilities?
Is there a space in the locker room for someone who uses a wheelchair?
Is there a changing facility for someone who requires an adult assistant of the opposite gender can use?
Do the emergency warning and information systems provide information in both auditory and visual formats?
Do participants with disabilities have easy access to showers or refreshments after a workout?
there are no limitations!
Where to go?
Although finding sports equipment may be relatively easy, a sporting goods store is usually right around the corner, it is not as easy to find adaptive sporting goods. Below are some places you can go.
National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD)
This database provides recreation, sport and even manufacturer information.
This database provides assistive technologies for daily living and recreation
This data base also provides assistive technologies for daily living and recreation.
Making Equipment Adaptations
Equipment adaptations can vary from subtle changes (a change in strap width, length or material) to highly customized and complex designs (custom-molded racing mono-ski).
The process of making such equipment should be a team effort. The team should include the following:
A person with the disability (he or she is the expert in the needs, abilities and interests).
A designer (an expert in developing technologies).
A coach or sport professional (an expert in the demands of the activity or facility design and usability).
It is important to to go through a step by step, effective design process when designing new technology, in order to account for many variables considered when making modifications to sport and recreational technology. This process can include, but is not limited to the following:
Specify the need
Review the existing technology and devices
Identify specific design criteria (requirements for competition)
Build a prototype
Have potential users evaluate the prototype
Use evaluation results to revise the prototype
Publish information on the completed design.
What does this mean for your class?
Adaptations can be made on a large scale (custom equipment for students) or much smaller scale (universal and timeless equipment). We can probably agree, majority of our time will be spent researching timeless and universal equipment that can be used from year to year. Below are some examples of relatively inexpensive equipment:
Place a bell on different pieces of equipment for visually impaired.
Tie a grocery bag around a soccer ball to hear it rather than relying completly on seeing it.
Use a larger ball or puck when playing hockey.
Use balloons to play modified tennis.
Something to leave you with,
A KEY POINT
Many times it is not necessary to use specialized or custom equipment. "Low-tech" modifications often work well!