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Social Development: Inclusion

From PEKN 1P93 Winter 2014: Group 26: Social Development

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[edit] Background

Inclusion is the action of including or being included within a group setting. [1] Inclusion has been used as an approach to educate students about the importance of making everyone feel welcome. Inclusive Education is an education that is based on fundamental principles of acceptance and inclusion of all students. [2]

Social development through inclusion is important because it provides children with experiences that can improve their academic performance and life long learning ability. Inclusion is distinct from integration; it has individuals work as a team in all aspects of a sport or game to build strong relationships. [3] Inclusion is also important because children are able to learn and appreciate diversity. Many children do not get the opportunity to work with children on a daily basis, and having this type of education allows to children to work with different individuals. Children who are included in an inclusive education style of learning experience a growth of understanding and respect towards children with disabilities. They are able to work either one-on-one or in a group setting and being able to work with these children may make them appreciate what they have. It also has been known that children with or without disabilities learn from each other. No matter whether an individual is disabled or not, they each learn from each other and gain experience and knowledge. Providing children with experience helps with future goals and further benefits them. [4]

There are two different types of known disabilities congenital and acquired. The differences between the two are crucial and are frowned upon when mixed together. Individuals who have a disability are often very insulted when the two different types of disabilities are confused. Congenital disabilities are conditions that exist at or even before birth. It also has been known to even be developed within the first month of life, regardless of the cause. Examples of congenital disability are Down syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and many more. There are a multiple of disabilities that can be attained before or at birth. An acquired disability is an individual that develops this condition over a course of ones life. Examples of an acquired disability are Celiac Disease or a physical disability from an accident. There can be many possible acquired disabilities and their severity all ranges. [5]

[edit] History

Inclusion Games in Masai Mara Kenya
Inclusion Games in Masai Mara Kenya

A major part of social development and inclusion is participation in sport. Sports for individuals with disabilities have existed for over 100 years. The first sport club for the deaf was created in 1888 in Berlin. However, in the middle to late 19th century, people with disabilities were still educated in different schools than those without disabilities (Torreno, 2014).[6] Which displays how the struggle for inclusivity remained in the school systems hindering the social development of youth with disabilities.

By 2009 Ontario had developed an Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, which was aimed at helping the education community identify and address discriminatory biases and systemic barriers in order to support the achievement and well being of all students (Principal’s Council, 2009).[7] This education strategy shows the progressively developed improvement of Ontario since the middle to late 19th century. It is movements like these that represent inclusivity and provide the foundation for a socially equal society. Although social development and inclusion should be emphasized in many disciplines, the most well known physical activity that focus on inclusion for individuals with disabilities are the Paralympics.

[edit] Silent Games

The first Silent Games were held in Paris in 1924 (commonly known as the Deaflympics) involving separate games for deaf athletes because they all shared a common system of communication and social interaction during sport. The Deaflympics were the first games for individuals with a type of disability. Dating before the Paralympics and the Special Olympics .The Silent Games were the first step for society to recognize that individuals who are deaf should not be seen as inferior to anyone else. Individuals with hearing impairments are ordinary people and should not be treated as outcasts. The Deaflympics continue to be held every four years while alternating between summer and winter games.[8]

[edit] Paralympics

The word "Paralympic" translates to "beside the Olympics" which demonstrates that the Paralympics exist side by side with the Olympics and represent a wide range of inclusivity. The first summer Paralympic Games were held in Rome Italy in 1960. At this time, 400 athletes from 23 different countries participated in these games. The first winter Paralympic Games were held in 1976 in Ornskoldsvik Sweden. As of 2014, the Paralympic Games are the second largest sporting event in the world (Paralympic Committee, 2013).[9]

The following link is to a video on the history of the Paralympics:

[edit] Special Olympics

The first Special Olympics Games were held in 1968 in Chicago after Eunice Kennedy Shriver noticed the unfair treatment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Since then Kennedy's goal of focusing on what individuals with intellectual disabilities could do, rather than what they couldn't do, has grown on a worldwide scale.

After watching the first Special Olympics Games in 1968, Richard Daley, the Mayor of Chicago at the time said, "You know, Eunice, the world will never be the same after this" (Kennedy, 2014).[10] Daley's prediction proved to be true seeing as there are now Special Olympics every two years, alternating between winter and summer events.

[edit] Target Audience

Left to Right: Lauren, Sarah, Brianna, Serena, Heather
Left to Right: Lauren, Sarah, Brianna, Serena, Heather

The intended participants in social development programs that primarily focus on inclusion are children between the ages of 10-18. These children are at an elementary to high school level and would benefit greatly from acquiring basic knowledge about inclusion techniques. Youth with disabilities have been and are still excluded from physical activities on a daily basis due to unnecessary barriers.[11] The inclusion of youth with disabilities in physical activity programs is essential.

Physical activity can provide the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to develop socially in a group setting and help them learn to communicate with others. As of 2014, disabled youth do not experience enough inclusivity among education settings and sport venues which stresses the importance that integration alone does not allow individuals with disabilities to reach their fullest potential. Teaching children the importance of inclusion would give them the opportunity to learn the value of participation and social development at an early age and practice it throughout their lives while sharing what they learned with those around them.

[edit] Research

Much research has been condoned in the area of including youth with disabilities in physical activities and sports. Most of the research has shown that the role of teachers and physical activity educators is very important in the inclusion of youth with disabilities in physical activities. Other research has shown that to increase participation among youth with disabilities in sports, it is important to modify and make adaptations to games.

The following articles identify how and why the roles of teachers and physical educators are important in the inclusion of youth with disabilities in physical activities and sports:

[edit] Attitudes of teachers

Petkova (2012) looked at the attitudes of both teachers and students while in physical education classes that included individuals with disabilities. The study concluded that most people who participated had a positive attitude towards the experience and many of them wished to learn more about how to fully interact with those who had disabilities in the future. Physical activity is shown through the participation in physical education while having an element of inclusion and being able to adapt activities to encompass all individual’s needs.[12]

[edit] Emphasizing inclusion in the classroom

Physical education educators play an influential role on their student’s development based on movement concepts taught, facility and environment utilized and appropriate teaching styles (curriculum structure). Research has proved that physical educators need to enhance the importance of inclusivity through practising the concept in their class programs. This will allow students to better encompass inclusive styles of movement towards age, gender and disabilities within their class and community. Change for a more inclusive future of play/sport for children in the education system lies in the hands of the educator and how they best emphasize the importance of inclusion within their classes.[13]

[edit] Physical educators are encouraging and supportive

Taylor and Yun (2012) discuss how the benefits of after-school physical activities can improve the health of youth with disabilities and make them feel more included as they can partake in the activities, unlike how they might not be able to in their own community. The staff and people running the activities was also a big factor in youth with disabilities participating in activities as the staff want youth with disabilities to feel safe and confident in the environment, and the youth with disabilities also have to enjoy the staff. The staff has to be able to encourage and support youth with disabilities in their physical activity. (Taylor, J., and Yun, J., 2012).[14]

[edit] Assessing the child's physical activity needs

So-Yeun Kim (2008) argues that by developing an ITP (individual transition plan) and by ongoing assessments, youth with disabilities will be on their way to participating in lifelong physical activities. The ITP, which is constructed based upon an IEP members notes on the child’s interests, skills, and community setting, would provide youth with disabilities physical activities which they can partake in to help them develop lifelong physical awareness. By assessing a child’s physical fitness and abilities, the instructor can determine the next step in the process of forming a plan for the needs of the child in order to be physically active lifelong.[15]

[edit] Increase in collaboration

Dr. Christopher Kliewer states the importance of collaboration. When students are taught and encouraged together, it allows them to further support one another and increases the inclusion and participation rates. There have been many different types of collaboration efforts used to improve the inclusion in a classroom setting. Dr. Kliewer discusses how children who are assigned group work with non-disabled and disabled children are able to collaborate and get everyones opinion to further their knowledge. Children of the disabled or not, are all able to learn and progress from each other and it is important in the education system to have a variety or children working together. [16]

The following article identifies how modifying physical activities and sports can allow everyone to participate:

[edit] Modifying games for inclusion

Nancy A. Murphy and Paul S. Carbone (2008) discuss how participating in sports has many health benefits, and that youth with disabilities do not have as many opportunities as youth without disabilities to participate in sports. They mention The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and how they came up with a chart identifying optimal physical activities for the most common disabilities seen in youth. It is an important factor to the health of youth with disabilities that they be included in physical activities and sports. They discuss how every person, whether it is a youth with a disability or a youth without a disability, has the right to participate in sports. (Murphy & Carbone et al., 2008).[17]

[edit] Existing Physical Activity Programs

Physical activity programs are put into place in order to enhance learning environments for both able bodied individuals and individuals with differing disabilities alike. All these programs share the common goal of maximizing participation among participants through adaptive methods that are unique to each program.

[edit] S.N.A.P Program

S.N.A.P. (Special Needs Activity Program) has been a Brock University volunteer-run program since 1994. The program has a 1:1 movement education based curriculum that in-stills physical and social development in youth of the Niagara region (Connolly, 2010). [18][1]

[edit] Brock Niagara Penguins

The Brock Niagara Penguins have been part of the Brock community since 2003. The Penguins have teams for wheelchair basketball, competitive and developmental swimming, and Paralympic bocce ball. Both able-bodied people and individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to participate together with the Brock Niagara Penguins (Mandigo, 2014).[19][2]

[edit] The Social Inclusion Programme

The Social Inclusion Programme by Sport4Socialisation (2012) provides a system of including children with disabilities into physical activities within their community. They start off by assessing the child and coming up with their own Individual Rehabilitation Plan, and their parents are put into a Parents Support Group. The children are integrated into an adapted physical activity game with the rest of their community and the parents develop more ways to overcome the inclusion barriers.[20][3]

[edit] Right to Play Charity

Dance Ability Program: Serena and Sheena
Dance Ability Program: Serena and Sheena

The Charity Right to Play fosters the concepts of inclusion and well-being in impoverish countries of the world. They take action by bringing athletes of all classes, ages, genders and disabilities together and initiate sport programs (example: soccer clubs) to ensure a positive view on inclusion within the participants. The purpose is to prove to the participants that everyone has the ability to play and reach a high potential (high execution of skill) when they are not excluded and isolated from play (Swan, 2008).[21][4]

[edit] Dance Ability Program

The Dance Ability Program allows individuals with mental and/or physical disabilities to partake in developmental dance classes and have the ability to choose the style of dance they partake in as well as the difficulty of the moves they execute. The inclusive classroom environment offers a unique one-on-one experience between the individual with a disability and an able bodied mentor if they wish to work in a partnership. The students within the program have no age limit placed upon their participation (Ryan, 2011).[22][5]

[edit] Best Practice Activity Suggestions

[edit] Six Tips for Inclusion

It is essential for children with mental or physical incapabilities to have the opportunity to partake in activities as much as possible. There are six possible tips that are encouraged in order to maximize the participation and inclusion of students. All of the following tips have been taken from Chapter 3 of the Fundamental Movement Skills Textbook. [23]

[edit] Celebrate your Success

Including an individual with exceptionality could be shown in a way to let an individual know you enjoy their presence. Taking pictures and sharing those experiences with people like parents, allows those children to feel acknowledge and included.

[edit] Avoid looking for Issues

When working with individuals with exceptionalities, identifying what worked well and what didn't is important to provide further feedback and information in order to improve the quality of the activity for the next time. Assessing and critically analyzing the activity will help to improve and make it more effective for the next time.

[edit] Involve the Participant

Some individuals do not feel very comfortable with maybe addressing issues that may arise, so it is important to ask the participants how they would like to be involved. Children are often afraid to speak up when in an uncomfortable situation, therefore providing further assistance and allowing that child to be comforted is an important aspect when working with children with disabilities.

[edit] Provide Opportunities for Participants to Shine

When working in groups of disabled and non-disabled children, it is important to allow them to share their ideas as well as their accomplishments. Encouraging students to share their accomplishments, for example in a wheelchair, will provide them with more comfort as well. Children like to feel accepted and included in tasks and having them “show off” their skills could be a good benefit for inclusion.

[edit] Use Instructional Support

Children with disabilities like to be included and treated like people without disabilities, but at the same time it is important for them to know that you are there for assistance if needed. Instruction of support allows for the child to feel wanted and will make their time more enjoyable and educational.

[edit] Foster Equal Relationships

Disabled children are often grouped together and not included in group or partner work because modification may need to be made, but it is important to encourage equal relationships. Having all children work together could provide a better experience for either the disabled or non-disabled persons as well as being able to raise awareness to children that is it important that every person be treated equally with the same respect when working in groups.

[edit] Games

  • Wolf, Sheep and Cabbage:

"Wolf, Sheep and Cabbage" is a game with four players. One player is a farmer, one player is a cabbage, one player is a sheep, and the last player is a wolf. The goal of the game is for the farmer to get all three of the other individuals across a "river" without leaving the sheep and the cabbage or the fox and the sheep alone together. However, the farmer can only take one player at a time and must use a strategy to figure out what order they should take the players across in. This game is great for social development and inclusion because everyone must participate in order to complete the task and everyone must work together to compile an appropriate strategy to solve the problem at hand.

[edit] Future Directions

The future of inclusive physical activity requires foundations for later success. Inclusion through physical activity cannot happen without the aid of building blocks that allow sustainable inclusivity. Inclusive knowledge, qualifications and learning environments must be fostered so exclusion and the sense of difference amongst participants is eliminated. Once personalized supports are established in favour of inclusive physical activity, personal and social confidence will expanding amongst all whom are affected (individuals who are able bodied or disabled).

Initiatives to be taken in order to develop effective planning strategies:[24]

[edit] Identify Barriers to Inclusive Activity and Fundamental Inclusive Knowledge

When barriers are addressed, solutions can be developed.

[edit] Examine Barriers to Devise Strategies

Implemented strategies allow for inclusive environments amongst both able bodies individuals and individuals with disabilities.

[edit] Promote Inclusive Education within Physical Activity

When positive relationships between participants are fostered, inclusion awareness is increased as well as knowledge upon the matter is gained by all involved.

[edit] Ensure that needs of Participants are met

Every individual with a disability has individualistic limitations. Adaptations must be made in accommodation of their personal restrictions.

[edit] Acknowledge Leaders

Sports coaches and/or gym teachers (for example) whom embrace inclusive approaches to different movement forms provide critical knowledge in creation of successful group dynamics of both able bodied and disabled individuals involved within physical activity.

Future goals based on developmental framework for inclusive physical activity:[25]

[edit] Planning is done ahead of time

Environment, equipment, regulations and lastly movement forms are involved in creating inclusive settings so barriers do not restrict participants within their disabilities during physical activity.

[edit] Resources available are Maximized

Through the use of certified specialists, coaches/teachers and participants, knowledge of inclusive physical activity settings can be pooled together. Everyone is a contributor to inclusivity and not all contributing resources are superficial (i.e.. technological equipment verses individualistic experience).

[edit] Tasks are Individualized if Necessary

Adaptation to movement forms, equipment, rules of activities and targets/goals of activities are modified to meet the needs possessed by both able bodied and disabled individuals in order to reach their fullest potential during activity.

[edit] External Links

United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities[26]:

United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child[27]:

Alberta Center for Active Living[28]:

Alberta Health on Disabilities and Mobility[29]:

Child: Care, Health and Development[30]:

[edit] Notes and References

  2. Wynne, K. (2009). Realizing the Promise of Diversity Ontario’s Equity & Inclusive Education Strategy [online]. Available at:
  3. Berger, I. (2012). Research into Practice: The Importance of Fostering Social and Emotional Development in the Early Years. The Institute for Early Childhood Education & Research. Volume 3. Web. Feb 13. 2014.
  6. Torreno, S. (2014). History of Inclusion & Improvement in Educating Students with Disabilities. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 18 Feb 2014].
  7. Principal’s Council of Ontario. (2009). Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy. Government of Ontario. Web. Feb 13. 2014.
  8. International Committee of Sports for the Deaf. (2013). Silent Games History. Retrieved on March 20, 2014, from
  9. International Paralympic Committee. (2013). History of the Paralympic Movement: History of the Movement. Retrieved March 15, 2014, from
  10. Kennedy, J. (2014) . How it All Began. Special Olympics: History of Special Olympics. Kennedy Jr. Foundation. Retrieved March 15, 2014, from
  11. Francis, N., Johnson, A., Lloyd, M., Robinson, D., & Sheehan, D. (2011). Chapter 3: Children with Disabilities/ Inclusion. Fundamental Movement Skills (pp. 23 - 36 ). Ottawa: PHE Canada.
  12. Petkova, A., Kudlácek, M., & Nikolova, E. (2012). Attitudes of Physical Education Students and Physical Education Teachers Toward Teaching Children With Physical Disabilities in General Physical Education Classes in Bulgaria. European Journal Of Adapted Physical Activity, 5(2), 89-98.
  13. Jin, J., Yun, J., & Wegis, H. (2013). Changing Physical Education Teacher Education Curriculum to Promote Inclusion. Quest (00336297), 65(3), 372-383.
  14. Taylor, J., & Yun, J. (2012). Factors influencing staff inclusion of youth with disabilities in after-school programs. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 46(4), 301-312. Retrieved from [Accessed: 19th Feb 2013].
  15. Kim, S. (2008). Promoting Lifelong Physical Activity in Children with Disabilities. Journal Of Physical Education, Recreation And Dance, 79 (4), pp. 4-54. doi:10.1080/07303084.2008.10598152 [Accessed: 23 Mar 2014].
  16. Kliewer, C. (2013). Disability, Literacy, & Inclusive Education for Young Children [online]. Available at:
  17. Murphy, N. A., Carbone, P. S. & Others (2008). Promoting the participation of children with disabilities in sports, recreation, and physical activities. Pediatrics, 121 (5), pp. 1057--1061.
  18. Connolly, M. "Special Needs Activity Program (SNAP)." Brock University Programs. Brock University, 2010. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.
  19. Mandigo, J. "Welcome to the Brock Niagara Penguins Website." Brock Niagara Penguins RSS. Brock Niagara Penguins, 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.
  20. (2014). How does it work in practise? Retrieved from:[cookies]=0 [Accessed: 19 Mar 2014].
  21. Swan, T., Porter, J., & Myer, J. (2008). Right To Play Canada. Right To Play Canada. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from
  22. Ryan, M., & Ryan, J. (2011). Dance Elite.Dance Elite - Dance Ability Program. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from
  23. Francis, N., Johnson, A., Lloyd, M., Robinson, D., & Sheehan, D. (2011). Chapter 3: Children with Disabilities/ Inclusion. Fundamental Movement Skills (pp. 23 - 36 ). Ottawa: PHE Canada.
  24. Australian. (2011). Disability Services.Count Me In - Disability Future Directions. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from
  25. O'Donnell, R. (2014). Inclusive Physical Education. NCHPAD : Inclusive Physical Education. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from
  26. UN. (2003). Disability, Disabilities, Convention, UN Rights, Accessibility. UN News Center. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from
  27. UN. (2003). CHILD Protection & Child Rights » VII. International Mechanisms » United Nations » United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from
  28. Manitoba, U. (2014). Evidence-based physical activity information for practitioners and decision-makers..Alberta Care for Active Living . Retrieved March 21, 2014, from
  29.  : Chef, J. (2014). PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOR PEOPLE WITH MOBILITY ISSUES OR DISABILITIES. Healthy U. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from
  30. Pain. H. (1999). Coping with a child with disabilities from the parents' perspective: the function of information. Child: Care, Health and Development. Retrieved March 21, 2014 from

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