An anonymous donor is willing to match all funds raised today up to $15,000!
Parents and caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities experience many barriers to helping their loved one achieve the recommended amount of physical activity. With COVID-19, the situation is even more challenging as many adapted sport programs are cancelled, and students attending virtual programs may not have access to adapted physical education or school-based services (e.g., physical or occupational therapy).
Help us address this need this Tiger Giving Day by making exercise programs accessible for individuals with disabilities. Together, we can provide participants with the necessary equipment they will use throughout the program to meet with their trainer and complete weekly, personalized training sessions that are created to be adaptive for individual needs.
Parents and caretakers consistently report a lack of trained professionals and a lack of access to adapted programs in their communities as significant barriers to promoting physical activity and physical health in their loved one with a developmental disability.
Our team, which includes a certified athletic trainer, certified special education teacher, and motor development expert, has the experience and training to ensure that each personal trainer is knowledgeable about how to create safe exercise programs that consider the physical, intellectual, social, and behavioral strengths and difficulties of individuals with developmental disabilities.
This training model is used to help prepare personal training staff to work with the EAGLES program on campus and in our community-based adapted physical activity programs for adults with developmental disabilities.
We will then enroll participants ages 13-50 years with a developmental disability to participate in a 5-month personal training program. Each participant will be able to borrow a Fitbit (~$130) to monitor their physical activity, heart rate, and sleep and exercise bands (~$25) to perform the exercises. Participants can also borrow an iPad to connect with their personal trainer virtually and access an app with their exercise program.
The exercise videos show each exercise performed by an individual with a developmental disability (Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy). Each participant will receive 20 virtual personal training sessions and a weekly exercise plan that can be completed using the app (~$500). The program will include health assessments at the beginning and end of the 5-month program to measure the impact on physical activity, physical health, and sleep. A report will be given to each program participant detailing the outcomes from the program as well as an exercise plan to help maintain their health gains upon completion of the program.
Funding through Tiger Giving Day will enable us to offer the program to students and participants at a significantly discounted rate to reduce potential financial barriers to participation.