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A new study published in the Journal of Kinesiology and Wellness finds the majority of college recreation programs assessed had “only minimal information for and representation and visibility of students with disabilities at their websites.”

A group of kinesiology researchers at Oregon State University -- Anna M. Bruning, Bradley J. Cardinal and Winston Kennedy -- examined 24 campus recreation websites for terminology and images inclusive of students with disabilities. The researchers found “large variability” in the use of inclusive language across the websites, “with one university continuing to use the outdated term ‘handicap.’ Two universities accounted for nearly 40 percent of the observed frequencies of the 11 terms investigated.”

Similarly, while researchers identified 49 total inclusive images across the 24 websites, 14 of the programs “showed neither a person with a disability or a piece of adaptive equipment on their website. Of the remaining 10 programs, three accounted for nearly 60 percent of the images. When images were shown, they were more than twice as likely to show a piece of adaptive equipment than they were to show a person with a disability.”

Of the 24 campus recreation program websites examined, six (25 percent) had a statement specific to the recreation program relating to inclusivity of people with disabilities.

“Unfortunately,” the Oregon State researchers write, “only a few programs seem to be making an active and intentional effort to promote inclusion of students with disabilities. A concerted effort is needed to address this issue.”