APH ConnectCenter Physical Activity Webinar Programs 

Children playing on a rope bridge and a fort outside at a playground.

by Dr. Lauren Lieberman and Ruth Childs

Editor’s Note: Dr. Lauren Lieberman and Ruth Childs share information about a seven-part APH ConnectCenter webinar series where Dr. Lieberman and additional experts will provide information, examples, and tools to support access to recreation and physical activity for all children, including those who are blind or low vision. 

Now is the time to gear up for a summer of recreation and physical activity for ALL children.  Unfortunately for some children with visual impairments, blindness, or multiple disabilities, the idea of engaging in sports and recreation may be daunting.  It can be equally daunting for these children’s teachers, camp counselors, coaches, and parents.  Access to and inclusion in physical activity, sports, and recreation does not have to be challenging.    

The purpose of this APH ConnectCenter Webinar Series is to provide information, examples, and tools to demystify the process.  Each webinar can be viewed individually, or you can participate in as many as you want!  Here is the list of titles, a little overview, and the webinar dates.  

The Foundation of Self Advocacy  

An Overview of self-advocacy, highlighting research on self-determination, the dignity of risk, bullying, and pre-teaching.  An explanation of the four components of self-advocacy, as well as the five-step process, will also be included.  Participants will leave with tools they can implement immediately.

Teaching Self-Advocacy to Children with Visual Impairments  

Using the previous webinar as a starting point, this session will delve into the definition and importance of self-advocacy.  It will also examine the relationship between self-advocacy and self-determination and independence.  Participants will reflect on what they already practice in terms of self-advocacy, and also learn how to mindfully include self-advocacy into their teaching practice.  They will learn more about the four components of self-advocacy, as well as the five-step process.  Many examples will be provided as well as tools to develop an action plan.  

Gross Motor Development Programming for Young Children with Visual Impairments.  

Young children with visual impairments must be intentionally taught foundational skills in order to be proficient movers.  This session will review specific strategies to help children with VI meet motor milestones.  

Outdoor Adventure Programming  

Outdoor adventure has shown to be very beneficial for youth with visual impairments.  Engaging with family and peers in activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, and cross-country skiing can be empowering and fun.  Come to this workshop and learn how to include all children in outdoor adventure programming.  

Gross Motor Development Instructional Strategies  

Children with visual impairments often miss specific instruction on foundational motor skills.  These gross motor skills – such as running, batting, kicking, rolling, and sliding – are the foundation of many blind sports.  These skills will be reviewed and instructional strategies will be shared.  Resources such as books, videos, tip sheets, and websites will be provided to all attendees.

Athlete Panel on Self Advocacy  

Self-advocacy is a sport and an art.  Listen to teen athletes explain how they overcame barriers to be active in their team/individual sports. 


 Expanded Core Curriculum Infused into Physical Activity and Physical Education  

Mastery of the skills in the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) are necessary in order to be independent and successful adults.  The components of the ECC are easily infused into physical education, recreation, fitness and physical activity.  This presentation will provide a variety of ways to infuse each component of the ECC into common physical activities.