Filtered by tag: Outdoor Remove Filter

The Importance of Promoting the Participation of Children with Disabilities in Sports and Tips to Implement it at Home

An important part of childhood is participating in sports. Most of us grew up playing baseball, basketball or soccer with our friend from their neighborhood. Physical activity provides many benefits for children, including those with disabilities. According to the Institute on Disability/UCED, approximately 7% of the US population accounts for children with disability. However, there is a lack of opportunities for their participation in recreational sports and physical activities. In recent years, many efforts have been made from different international organizations to try to close this gap and create more opportunities. Despite these efforts, an increasing number of children with disabilities have reported low levels of cardiorespiratory strength, less muscular endurance, and higher rates of obesity than typical children.

Benefits of sport participation

The main reason to participate in sports is to increase physical activity to help reverse impaired mobility, optimize physical functioning, and increase overall well-being. Playing sports plays a fundamental role in the maintenance of normal muscle strength, flexibility and a better joint structure and function. Good levels of muscular strength and endurance help increase bone mass, reduce injuries from falls, and provide a greater ability to complete daily activities.
By participating in sports children can leave behind a sedentary lifestyle that leads to obesity and other health complications. Sports participation also enhances the psychological well-being of children with disabilities; it provides opportunities to make friends, be creative, develop self-identity and live a more meaningful life. For example, Special Olympics athletes show better self-esteem, physical competence, and peer acceptance when compared with non-participants. Finally, participation in regular physical activity can foster independence, coping abilities, competitiveness, and teamwork among children with disabilities.

Read More

Adding Some Quality Outdoors Time

Photo of Amanda Cover, FDOA Intern (Summer 2020)It can be easy to get caught up in your tasks for the day and not set aside some time for you to relax and connect with nature. If you work from home, you may never step outside some days if you do not section off part of your day to intentionally do so.

I have found recently that even just 30 minutes at the park is a good break point in my day to let me step away from work for a short time and get some exercise outdoors.

Read More

Accessible Transportation & Recreation

On Wednesday (September 2, 2020), FDOA presented the video below to the Accessible Transportation for Florida Town Hall event present by The Able Trust. It is so important that we consider recreation when planning accessible transportation. 

Fodder from the Founder - August 2020

It’s a Thirty-year anniversary celebration!  The Americans with Disabilities Act created the law, but it’s been people who have changed the World.  The passing of the ADA in 1990, provided the legislation that makes it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities.  That opened the doors for people who care, to push for establishing the specific laws, codes, regulations, and guidelines that we follow to help enable equal access and inclusion into Society.

This civil rights law has created “opportunities to participate” and have changed the lives of everyone.  The Florida Disabled Outdoors Association is also celebrating our 30 years of caring and change through our advocacy and action.  

Read More

St Marks Refuge Adds Additional Lands and Opportunities

The St. Marks Natural Wildlife Refuge has offered hunters with a mobility impairment a section of land near Sopchoppy, FL to hunt White-tailed deer for many years. This approximately 3,800 acre parcel of refuge is virgin territory to rifles and trucks before the hunt.  Mobility impaired hunters get to fire the first gunshot of the season in these woods.

The Friday hunt meeting at 3:30 pm before the Saturday opener is always like a family meal with cousins you haven't seen in a while. They draw names out of a hat for stand locations and the tension builds as pins get placed at the known "spots". Whispers from the crowd let you know when the best spot gets claimed. Rules on driving the roads, stand hours, and government regulations are showered on the whole group before people disappear down their road. Each hunter is allowed a companion hunter and the bag limits must be shared. 

Read More