Attraction to Physical Activity for Youth Who are BVI/DHH at a Residential School

  • Stefan Ward Central Washington University
  • Charles Farnsworth University of Northern Colorado
  • Megan Babkes-Stellino University of Northern Colorado
  • Jamis Perrett Texas A&M University


Youth who are blind or visually impaired (BVI) and youth who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) often have low participation in sport and regular physical activity. Minimal research has sought to explore the variables associated with relatively low involvement in sport and physical activity among youth with BVI and/or DHH at residential schools. Financial situations and budget cuts have forced many states to combine residential schools for low incidence disabilities such as BVI & DHH. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the nature of attraction to physical activity for those attending a residential school for DHH and BVI. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 school residents (n = 5 blind; 3 male, 2 female and n = 6 deaf; 4 male, 2 female) who ranged in age from 10-18 years. Deductive content analyses revealed a number of meaningful themes in each category for both disability groups. Findings suggest that both hearing and visually impaired youth enjoyed physical activity and valued health benefits. However, this desire did not translate into being physically active. Youth suggested barriers for this including low parental encouragement for sport and physical activity and some social exclusion from non-disabled peers in game settings.

How to Cite
Ward, S., Farnsworth, C., Babkes-Stellino, M., & Perrett, J. (2012). Attraction to Physical Activity for Youth Who are BVI/DHH at a Residential School. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 10(1), 81-90.