Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Movement Sciences

Committee Director

Justin A. Haegele

Committee Member

Xihe Zhu

Committee Member

Angela Eckhoff


Blind youth have reported unfavorable PE experiences, however, are optimistic that positive changes could be made. Despite recommendations to involve students in learning decisions, those made for teaching blind youth in PE have largely been constructed from nondisabled adults. This dissertation used a participatory research method and positioned blind people as research partners, amplifying their voices as knowers, collaborators, and researchers, to help construct resources and recommendations to disseminate to PE teachers. With that, the overall aim of this dissertation was to construct a product that provides PE teachers with useful and relevant resources and recommendations, in an attempt to enhance PE experiences for blind students. This dissertation used a two-manuscript format. The purpose of the first manuscript was to describe the experiences of co-constructing resources and recommendations for PE teachers, with blind individuals as research partners, aimed to enhance PE for blind students. Four blind young adults served as research partners within the project. The project meetings, consisting of 15 meetings over 19 weeks and two stages, took place entirely on Zoom. Stage one consisted of four meetings and focused on exploring the needs of the partners and their experiences and opinions for improving PE for future generations. Stage two consisted of 11 meetings and focused on constructing resources and recommendations to provide to PE teachers. A constant-comparative technique was used throughout to analyze all meeting transcriptions to help compare, keep track of, and reflect on all ideas. The first study manuscript details the interworking of the process to highlight the research groups’ experience with the project. We conclude this manuscript by disclosing the challenges, successes, and messiness of this project. Moving forward, we encourage researchers to continue to conduct research that involves disabled individuals as knowers, and in mindful and meaningful ways to respect their needs. The purpose of the second study was to examine PE teachers’ perspectives on the usefulness, relevance, and practicality of resources co-constructed with blind young adults to help enhance PE for blind students. For this study, nine high school PE teachers were interviewed, using an interpretivist research paradigm, to inquire about the usefulness, relevance, and practicality of using the resource within their teaching practices, which might help to alleviate some of the concerns and stress teachers have noted experiencing. Reflexive thematic analysis guided the data analysis, and three themes were constructed: (a) "You're gonna have to get to know the person": Awareness of needs, (b)"For a teacher that's on their own...this is phenomenal": More than a planning tool, and (c) “I should meet with the student”: Conversations for student input. Many of the participants noted that the resource was useful and relevant, however, there were some mixed opinions about the practicality of using some of the resources, given time and curriculum constraints. This co-constructed resource may be a first step in working with blind individuals and PE teachers to help to enhance PE experiences for blind students.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).