Aug. 20, 2011, 08:49 AM
As many of you may be aware, following on from one of the worst sporting scandals in history, that took part in Sydney paralympics.Profile 39, (the profile for athletes with intellectual disabilities) was removed from being able to compete in any paralympic disciplines.
The ban has now been gradually lifted, but as of yet not embraced by equestrianism..
Thoughts? / Discussion?
(excuse spelling mistake in title.)
Last edited by belambi; Aug. 20, 2011 at 08:50 AM.
Aug. 20, 2011, 06:14 PM
Hello fellow Aussie! Could you expand the details on this? I feel I'm only getting half the story.
Riding is a thinking sport, even if it is primarily at the subconscious level. So I would be satisfied that an intellectually disabled rider should be eligible to compete at the paralympics.
Aug. 20, 2011, 06:58 PM
Ok. Untill (and during) the Sydney Olympics and Paralympics, Profile 39 was a category itself withing the para sport movment. Intellectual impairment
However, following the Spanish basketball scandal at Sydney 2000, it was removed.
The IPC reation
The IPC announced that, due to serious difficulties in determining the eligibility of athletes, it was suspending all official sporting activities involving an intellectual disability. The IPC attempted to develop a revised system for testing for intellectual disabilities but announced on 1 February 2003 that all events involving learning difficulties would be abandoned for the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens.
Following an anti-corruption drive, the International Sports Federation for Persons with an Intellectual Disability (INAS-FID) lobbied to have these athletes reinstated. Beginning in 2004, athletes with an intellectual disability began to be re-integrated into Paralympic sport competitions, although they remain excluded from the Paralympic Games.  The IPC has stated that it will re-evaluate their participation following the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.[
So,in the past year or so I received an email from IPC re reintroduction of profile 39 athletes
As of yet equestrianism has not been included. However, from the FEI point of view it would be seriously worth noting that 33 countries competed in equestrian at the recent Special Olympics in Greece. (Australia did NOT field an equestrian team which is in itself a disgrace!!)
Think of how the extra countries would benefit towards the globalisation of paraequestrian!!
Aug. 20, 2011, 08:05 PM
"Equestrian", not "equestrianism."
I'm not quite seeing your point--aren't there physically-disabled riders in the paralympic games? It sounds like they had a problem with people who weren't clinically intellectually disabled competing, and they're tightening the qualifications, but by doing that they may make it somewhat harder for equestrian paralympic events to be serious athletics and accommodate the new definition of intellectual disability. Their new definition is a pretty serious impairment that would usually mean the person would be in a therapeutic-style program here.
Aug. 21, 2011, 02:20 AM
They(only,+para,or/and + sensory) have the specials
Paras (only or + sensory) have paras
I'm Deafblind+ cerebral palsy who rides abled bodied dressage with NO special stuff
My para grade was 1a
Aug. 21, 2011, 03:34 AM
I agree somewhat with the previous two posters. the Paralympics were designed for athletes with physical (or primarily physical) impairments, with Special Olympics being considered the appropriate venue for those athletes with intellectual impairments.
If Profile 39 is re-instated for equestrian competition, I personally would rather the athletes in this profile compete together, almost in their own Grade. (Mind you, I've done no research beyond reading the links posted here, and these are all my off-the-top opinions).
Let's get some more discussion going... if this profile returns to para-equestrian, how would you wnat to see it handled?
Last edited by KLS; Aug. 21, 2011 at 03:35 AM.
Aug. 21, 2011, 01:58 PM
I agree, if it's reinstated their own grade makes the most sense to me. But even so, the wide variety of impairment there even further complicates things! It makes a lot more sense to me to level the playing field physically than try to measure physical impairments and intellectual impairments on the same scale. That just doesn't seem possible and is up for so much interpretation, I think. It's a lot easier to quantify and measure a physical impairment.
But then again, I have no clue what I'm talking about - I don't think I'll ever have access to the horses needed for competitive para dressage... much less the talent for my grade level tests!
Aug. 22, 2011, 12:40 AM
Does the Special Olympics have equestrian sports?
Aug. 22, 2011, 12:59 AM
Yes it does.. However FEI is not involved.
I am luky enough to be involved with coaching a number of International Par Equestrians.. and the reason that the discussion came up is because a couple of those athletes who i work with are dual diagnosed.(physical and Intelectual)
I guess it comes down to the definition of Disability..and In my world that most certainly does include Intellectual Impairment.
Aug. 22, 2011, 12:21 PM
No one is arguing the definition of a disability. They come in challenges and struggles of all shapes and sizes. In my opinion, if an athlete has dual diagnoses, his or her equestrian profile should reflect that diagnosis which most impedes riding itself. The physical manifestations of my cerebral palsy provide much more of a challenge for me when it comes to riding than the actual cognitive impact of the brain injury itself. I still may persue the option of a test reader on my dispensation card for my short-term memory deficits and mild receptive language disorder, but I would not meet the criteria to ride under profile 39.
Originally Posted by belambi
Keeping that in mind, the IQ threshold that someone else posted earlier in the set of guidelines, does perhaps imply an individual with significant intellectual impairment, who may be best suited competing against peers of simililar disability, just as others who are classified into Grade groups by their own functiional limitations are.
Best of luck to you and your athletes!
Aug. 22, 2011, 05:56 PM
Originally Posted by KLS
Strangely enough I got an email from the FEI today. Extract below.
"Our Para-Eqeustrian Committee is following the development of this, knowing that IPC is also working on it. The committee decided it was still too early to reinclude profile 39, and will use some time to see the development before having a new discussion about it."
Best of luck.
Sep. 6, 2011, 08:47 AM
I have really been giving a lot of thought to this and how to word a reply that would not / is not intended to be in any way patronising
Originally Posted by KLS
The Special Olympics are of great value as a movement as a whole. The Special Olympics is open to athletes of all abilities, and is based on the principles of PATRICIPATION and DEVELOPMENT. This is almost the opposite of The Paralympics, which is an elite competition / event, in which, as in all mainstream sports competition, athletes must qualify in order to compete and WIN. There is room in international sport for both movements, but I would not accept that the Special Olympics should be seen as a substitute for inclusion into the Paralympic Games.. they are entirely different.
Oct. 13, 2011, 01:43 PM
That's pretty interesting. Given the critieria, I would have to agree with the other posters here. I do work in helping people with gaining Disability benefits. In my work, I deal with many people and am aware of the different scales of IQ. The general Disability listing is much lower and requires an additional sub-component until you reach a certain level. Cannot agree that at this level it should be an automatic bye.
I've also seen high functioning autistic individuals--who don't actually deal well w/the public and are disabled--test extemely high on all levels of an IQ test, so essentially, that rule would completely be unfair to an individual like that who perhaps would benefit from riding and such a program. They need to do some further work.
Oct. 13, 2011, 05:16 PM
Ok so how the f* would somebody with social issues cope with elite level sport?
Originally Posted by PFMJ
Oct. 13, 2011, 05:34 PM
^social issues don't preclude elite level sport.
Seriously. Elite sports are not really like the rest of the world. You kind of have to create this whole support network around you and devote an extremely high percentage of your time and effort to the singular pursuit.
Some elite athletes kind of develop social issues as a result of life-long involvement in a world that isn't really like "the real world."
Social anxiety issues, probably not going to lead to a successful career in athletics. Social issues that preclude you from having a normal career, working well with a team, approaching problems with a balanced/big picture approach...some of those "issues" can help you succeed, especially in an individual sport.
One tiny example of this. Sometimes, in boxing, you can't get a beginner to really commit to punches. They have too much empathy for their opponent. Someone who has a social issue that prevents them from successfully empathizing with anyone would obviously not have this handicap.
There's also the angle that very severe emotional issues cause the person to inhabit what is essentially a different reality. Where the average person sees elite sport as extremely stressful...it's projecting a norm to say that the situation ITSELF is stressful. To someone severely autistic, who doesn't actually view "the public" as an entity to interact with on ANY level...there might be no such thing as performance anxiety.
Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior
Oct. 13, 2011, 08:24 PM
high-level autistic and/or Asberger's is not just social issues. I work with a young man with Asberger's and can tell you that learning and memory are greatly affected. IQ test would not reveal this....
Originally Posted by cyfskid
Oct. 13, 2011, 10:33 PM
Learning and memory are components of IQ testing.
Originally Posted by Ray
Part of my day job is doing assessments. Basically, the criteria for inclusion in this category are the criteria to make a diagnosis of mental retardation (I know, I don't like the perjorative nature of the word, but that is the current wording of the diagnosis).
Less than 3% of the population has an IQ less than 75.
Limitations in adaptive functioning means that the person functions less well than 98% of other people their age (bottom 2% of the population). Generally, this means that the person needs considerable supervision and support and is not expected to function, safely, independently.
You can have someone with Asperger's who does not meet the criteria of intellectual disability or you can have someone who is intellectually disabled that is also severely depressed.
From the link provided:
The application should include prove of diagnosis of ‘Intellectual
Impairment’ as defined by the internationally accepted authorities:
22.214.171.124. IQ-measure 75 or below;
126.96.36.199. Limitations in Adaptive Behaviour; and
188.8.131.52. Age of onset < 18 years.
Oct. 13, 2011, 10:37 PM
What exactly do they mean by intellectually disabled? Does that mean autism, etc, or stuff like ADHD?
I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.
Oct. 13, 2011, 10:46 PM
By intellectually disabled, they mean someone who has an IQ less than 75 who also cannot function independently.
Autism and ADHD are different, and separate, diagnoses. You can have a diagnosis of intellectual impairment AND have ADHD.
Last edited by Come Shine; Oct. 13, 2011 at 10:56 PM.
Reason: 75 not 70. Sorry.
Oct. 13, 2011, 10:53 PM
Having severe ADHD, I do understand it's different and separate, but not exclusive, of intellectual impairment. I don't think my post was clear... I meant more along the lines of "Are they referring to disabilities like autism, etc, or will they consider things like ADHD a disability?" Sorry for the poor writing. Thank you for answering my question
Originally Posted by Come Shine
I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.
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