Sports, the Great Equalizer: Influencing Future Sports Professionals View of Disabilities: Sports Professionals View of Disabilities


  • Tracy Trachsler SUNY Cortland
  • Mary Handley Cazenovia College


Inclusion, Sport Management, Applied Learning


Human services, social work and sports have shared goals of improving the quality and the meaning of life for individuals.  Educating young adults about the intersection of the goals of sports and the goals of social work is one intervention to help influence positive change in our culture. This study represents one example of an intervention to affect change within college students who are sports management majors and taking a sport sociology class. These college students participated in sporting activities with adults with intellectual disabilities on a college campus.  At the end of the activities, the students were asked to critically reflect upon their experience specifically related to their sociological understanding of people with intellectual disabilities in sport. The data was analyzed with respect to the concept of the "other." The results of this study provide insights for exposing future sport professionals to diverse populations.  The results also reinforce the goals of social work to develop and enhance a more inclusive world for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.






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