Changing Perceptions in Schools

Sportable is pleased to offer a variety of programs to selected Henrico schools ranging from educational sessions on diversity and disability awareness to experiential programming and adapted sports experiences. All programs are suitable for elementary, middle, and high school students with groups of varying sizes. Each base program described below will also contain a segment highlighting Sportable and our programming here in the Greater Richmond Community. Our base programs described below are available individually or in combination; all programs can be tailored to meet to the unique needs and learning objectives of your school and its student population:

Diversity and Disability Awareness or “Etiquette” Training

Disability is one of many areas of diversity in our world today, and one often surrounded by many misconceptions. This multimedia presentation will dispel some of the myths surrounding people with disabilities, educate participants on person first language and disability etiquette, provide a brief introduction to the world of adapted sports, and highlight the accomplishments of athletes with physical and visual disabilities. This is available to Henrico County Schools administrative and educational staff, as well as student groups in high schools.

Adapted Sports 101

The variety of sports available to athletes with physical disabilities and visual impairments is vast and the history of adapted sports is rich and deep. Participants will be introduced to the world of Paralympic sports through a multi-media presentation featuring the history of adapted sports and the Paralympic Games, an overview of the different sports available for athletes with various types of physical and visual disabilities, and the stories of accomplished athletes with physical disabilities. One to two pieces of adaptive equipment will be brought for display and/or trial by students. This is can be tailored to elementary school students in a Career Day and or assembly setting. For middle and high school students this is can be offered as a Part 1 of a two part program, where Part 2 would include an Adapted Sports Experience (outlined below). Pre-perception surveys are emailed to either teachers or students directly prior to presentation to gather information on their understanding and comfort level of people with physical disabilities and/or visual impairments. Data collected will be presented to identified Henrico School Department staff acting as liaison for that school/program.

Adapted Sports Experience

This program takes Adapted Sports 101 to the next level by engaging students in hands-on experience of a variety of sports such as goalball, sitting volleyball, wheelchair racing, wheelchair basketball, and more. Participants will be introduced to the basic rules and equipment for each sport and given an opportunity to try them first hand. Traditionally this is offered during Physical Education Class time and students are broken up into groups where school PE Department Staff will assist Sportable staff in running students through 8-10 minute rotations of several different adaptive sports (sports selected depend on student population and space availability). Students are provided a brief intro at the start of class with a general overview of the activities ahead and then have 2-3 minutes at the end of class to ask questions and make observations about their experience. Post-perception surveys students submit after the program gather information on their understanding and comfort level of people with physical disabilities and/or visual impairments. Data collected will be presented to identified Henrico County Schools Department staff acting as liaison for that school/program. This program is easily adaptable for students of various grade levels.

Motivation & Inspiration

Depending on availability, Sportable athletes may be available as presenters and speakers for the above programs and can share their personal story of the positive impact of sports in their lives. In some cases, prior schools have had students from their Health & Wellness classes interview the Sportable athletes. This can be done at elementary, middle, and high schools in an assembly or PE class format.