People with physical disabilities face multiple barriers to activity and sports participation. This study aims to fill a gap in the literature by describing how community-based adaptive sports and fitness facilities are built in communities in the United States. Structured interviews of 11 participants, facility tours, and review of documents and photographs, are incorporated in the data collection and analysis. Understanding the necessary components for facility accessibility for people with disabilities also assists in ease of use by other community members. Three main concepts emerged from the analysis: incorporating viewpoints of people with disabilities in planning stages, use of universal design concepts, and planning for contingencies. The three projects studied differed in design, target population, and organizational structure and are evidence of sustainable, fully accessible facilities. The information learned through this research may be important to community planners, advocates for programs for people with disabilities, and sports and fitness professionals.
Adaptive sports facility, adaptive fitness facility, universal design, social model of disability, ADA, community planning
Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science
Level of Degree
Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences
First Committee Member (Chair)
John Barnes, Ph.D.
Second Committee Member
Julia Scherba de Valenzuela, Ph.D.
Third Committee Member
Todd Seidler, Ph.D.
Fourth Committee Member
Michael Cottingham, Ph.D.
Schubauer, Mary Beth. "From Vision to Reality: Building Community-Based Adaptive Sports and Fitness Facilities Across the United States." (2021). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/educ_hess_etds/125