While sport has value in everyone's life, it’s even more important in the lives of people with disabilities.Unbeknownst to many, athletes with disabilities compete in sports at elite levels, in which qualifying times are only fractions behind athletes without disabilities. Competitive sports for athletes with disabilities (AWD) has dramatically increased over the past two decades in both disability-specific competitions and mainstream sporting events alongside able-bodied competitors.
Perceived barriers to sport for children and adults with a disability.
The goal of the Brick 44 Athletic Initiative is to bring awareness, resources, and support to competitive athletes with disabilities. This initiative also aims to improve and offer better health outcomes for people with disabilities. Participation in athletic activities is the context in which people form friendships, develop skills and competencies, express creativity, achieve mental and physical health, and determine meaning and purpose in life. With good health, people with disabilities have the freedom to work, learn and actively engage in their families and their communities. In typically developing children, participation in sports has been proven to be positively correlated to both physical and psycho-social health outcomes.
This initiative is named in honor of the founder’s father, Larry Artis, who was a talented athlete who gained public acclaim as a basketball and football standout while in high school. He later continued his basketball career for 3 seasons (1969-70 thru 1971-72) at South Carolina State University where he earned a Most Valuable Player award and graduated with his B.S. in Physical Education.
Larry positively changed the lives of others, which was one of his many gifts. He impacted the lives of many youth as a coach for several football and basketball teams and was an active member of the community as well as serving as a Scoutmaster and volunteering as a mentor to troubled youth.
Accessibility Bridge Corporation Brick 44 Initiative
Lawrence Sapp works hard both in and out of the pool. He spends many hours practicing and met his goal of being the first male with autism and an intellectual impairment to represent the United States in Paralympic swimming in Tokyo this past summer. This is a behind the scenes look at his training and a few competitions.
4x Paralympic Gold Medalist Mckenzie Coan, describes how she is dealing with lockdown and getting ready for Tokyo 2021!
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. As the director of the Inclusive Sports Initiative at the Institute for Human Centered Design, co-director of the Royce Fellowship for Sport and Society at Brown University, and a member of the United States Soccer Team in the 1996 and 2004 Paralympic Games, Eli A. Wolff challenges us to consider the power of inclusion for people with and without disabilities in sport and beyond.
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