Sports and Exercise with Visual Impairment
Get into the swing of exercise!
People with blindness or low vision compete and participate in every possible sport. Sometimes the rules are modified, sometimes adaptive techniques are used, and other times adaptive equipment may be required. It is important to continue to exercise as a recent CDC study on incidence of chronic disease in adults with disabilities reveals.
General Tips for Participating in Sports
Do some research about your area of interest. Some adaptive sports may be represented by national groups such as the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) or similar associations.
Do some reading on your sport interest. Contact your local library or the National Library Service for books on tape and CD, in large print, and in braille.
Contact an athlete with vision loss and talk about adaptations that can be used in a particular sport. Your low vision specialist may be able to suggest a local group to contact.
Talk to your medical doctor and eye doctor before participating in any sport. Some eye conditions and medical conditions can be affected by athletic activity that includes bending, lifting, straining, or pulling.
Remember to be patient with yourself and have fun! Learning a sport, with or without vision loss, takes time, energy, and PRACTICE!
- Physical Education and Sports for People with Visual Impairments and Deafblindness by Lauren Lieberman, Paul E. Ponchillia, and Susan V. Ponchillia, Ed.D., provides practical information on techniques for adapting sports and other physical activities
- Tuesday Night Tandems: An Opportunity for Fun and Fitness
Bonnie O'Day and husband Bob Hartt, both visually impaired, discuss starting a tandem bike club in our nation's capital.