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The Paralympics and Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities An Introduction to Eligibility and Classification.

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Presentation on theme: "The Paralympics and Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities An Introduction to Eligibility and Classification."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Paralympics and Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities An Introduction to Eligibility and Classification

2 This presentation will tell you.... About what the term intellectual disability means Where people with intellectual disabilities (ID) fit into the Paralympics How a person with ID becomes eligible to compete in Paralympic level events What classification means for athletes with ID in the Paralympics

3 What does having an intellectual disability mean? People across the world use different words to mean the same thing. Such as learning disabilities and learning disability, mental retardation, developmental disabilities and previously mental handicap. However, most people tend to prefer the term intellectual disability or intellectual impairment But, what does it actually mean? Intellectual disability means a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information and to learn and apply new skills (impaired intelligence). This results in a reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social functioning), and begins before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development, (World Health Organisation) But, what does it actually mean? Intellectual disability means a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information and to learn and apply new skills (impaired intelligence). This results in a reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social functioning), and begins before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development, (World Health Organisation)

4 Where do people with intellectual disabilities (ID) fit into the Paralympics? The Paralympics is for elite athletes who have a disability and want to compete at the highest level of competition The word Paralympic derives from para (beside or alongside) and Olympic and illustrates how the two movements exist side-by-side. Learn about the history of the Paralympic movement ement ement Learn about the history of the Paralympic movement ement ement The Paralympic Movement offers sporting opportunities for athletes who have a primary impairment belonging to one of 10 eligible impairment types Intellectual Impairment is one of the 10 impairment groups Intellectual Impairment is one of the 10 impairment groups This means that athletes with intellectual impairments will only compete against other athletes with intellectual impairments

5 How does a person with ID become eligible to compete at Paralympic level events? Individual An individual athlete must have an assessment by a psychologist A report saying if they meet the eligibility criteria is produced Nation Each Nation has a National Eligibility Officer They must check the information and sign that the report is authentic and send to Inas Inas Inas is the organisation which governs the master list of eligible athletes 2-3 independent psychologists on the Inas eligibility committee scrutinise the evidence and agree if the person does or does not meet the eligibility criteria

6 What are the eligibility criteria? Significant impairment in intellectual functioning. A full scale IQ score of below 75 Significant limitations in adaptive behaviour as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills Intellectual disability must be evident during the developmental period, which is from conception to 18 years of age The eligibility criteria are taken from the World Health Definition of Intellectual Disabilities. Detailed guidance is available on

7 What does classification mean for athletes with ID in the Paralympics?

8 Even though a person with an ID may demonstrate that they have the initial impairment they still have to go through classification Why? The impairment must be shown to impact on the performance of that specific sport An example of this would be a person who has a left hand amputation, but is an excellent right handed pistol shot and an excellent swimmer, with pistol shooting he may qualify for the Olympics but in swimming he may qualify for the Paralympics I see, so classification is needed to show that having an ID will impair your ability to play the sport You got it!

9 What does classification mean for athletes with ID in the Paralympics? Initial Eligibility Sports Classification Confirmed as eligible for that sports class at Paralympic sanctioned events

10 Sports Classification – rules and regulations Each Federation will have their own Classification Rules and Regulations which will describe the process of classification for that sport e.g. Athletics see Each Federation will have their own Classification Rules and Regulations which will describe the process of classification for that sport e.g. Athletics see For Paralympic competition these procedures must adhere to the IPC Classification Code see For Paralympic competition these procedures must adhere to the IPC Classification Code see Sports classification is governed by the International Sports Federation for that sport. For Swimming and Athletics this is the IPC, for Table Tennis ITTF

11 Sports classification for athletes with intellectual disabilities This will consist of two or possibly three components It will always consist of 1.Completing the Sport Cognitive Test Battery 2.In competition observation The third component will be Sports Specific Tests. This will be the case for Athletics and Table Tennis, but not swimming where additional analysis takes place through observation

12 Sports Class Status NewReviewConfirmed Athlete not been classified before The athlete has been classified before but must be assessed again The athlete has been classified before and does not need to undergo evaluation again All athletes must be assessed at least twice before being Confirmed

13 More information – click on these websites The International Paralympic Committee The International Paralympic Committee …….Or see the next slide for more resources including videos and PowerPoint presentations

14 Resources – just click on the links Watch a video about what it is like to be a classifier Hear from the Athletes themselves More resources


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