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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. 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) However, most people tend to prefer the term intellectual disability or intellectual impairment

4 Where do people with intellectual disabilities (ID) fit into the Paralympics?
This means that athletes with intellectual impairments will only compete against other athletes with intellectual impairments 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 The word “Paralympic” derives from “para” (beside or alongside) and “Olympic” and illustrates how the two movements exist side-by-side. The Paralympics is for elite athletes who have a disability and want to compete at the highest level of competition Learn about the history of the Paralympic movement

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’?
The eligibility criteria are taken from the World Health Definition of Intellectual Disabilities. Detailed guidance is available on 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

7 What does ‘classification’ mean for athletes with ID in the Paralympics?
To ensure competition is fair and equal, all Paralympic sports have a classification system in place which ensures that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus, the same factors that account for success in sport for able bodied athletes. The purpose of classification is to minimise the impact of impairments on the competition outcome (http://www.paralympic.org/Classification/Introduction)

8 What does ‘classification’ mean for athletes with ID in the Paralympics?
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 The impairment must be shown to impact on the performance of that specific sport Why? I see, so classification is needed to show that having an ID will impair your ability to play the sport Even though a person with an ID may demonstrate that they have the initial impairment they still have to go through classification You got it!

9 Sports Classification
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
Sports classification is governed by the International Sports Federation for that sport. For Swimming and Athletics this is the IPC, for Table Tennis ITTF 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

11 Sports classification for athletes with intellectual disabilities
This will consist of two or possibly three components It will always consist of Completing the Sport Cognitive Test Battery 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 New Review Confirmed
The athlete has been classified before and does not need to undergo evaluation again The athlete has been classified before but must be assessed again Athlete not been classified before New Review Confirmed All athletes must be assessed at least twice before being ‘Confirmed’

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

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


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