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Parent perceptions of extracurricular sport programs for high school students with disabilities

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White, Quinton
Tymeson, Garth
Oct 24, 2017
Students with disabilites; School sports
Although federal laws require equal opportunities for all students, few high school students with disabilities (SWD) participate in school-sponsored extracurricular sport. Recently, more school-sponsored adapted sport (SSAS) programs have been developed. Because so many of these programs are newly developed, there is minimal research on their effects on SWD as reported by their parents. This study examined parent perceptions of factors related to participation in SSAS. An online survey was used to collect data throughout the U.S. from parents of SWD. Perceptions were examined through inquiries into demographics, degree of satisfaction with SSAS programming, and degree of importance placed by parents of their child participating in SSAS. Results indicated that parents of high school-aged SWD wanted SSAS programs in their child's school district. Parents indicated that SSAS participation was extremely important for their child and social interactions among peers. Only 62% of parents reported that SSAS was listed on their child's IEP. A total 67.4% of parents felt SSAS participation was important for their child. Emotional/Social skills was ranked the highest benefit of SSAS participation compared to physical fitness and cognitive development.
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