Edited by: Tecnológico Superior Corporativo
Edwards Deming
January - March Vol. 8 - 1 - 2024
https://revista-edwardsdeming.com/index.php/es
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
Received: May 14, 2023
Approved: June 29, 2023
Page 31-39
Practice of physical-sports activities for athletes of
the Ecuadorian Federation of Sports with Visual
Impairment: an integral approach for inclusion and
performance.
Práctica de actividades físico-deportivas para atletas de la
Federación Ecuatoriana de deportes con discapacidad visual:
un enfoque integral para la inclusión y el rendimiento
Alex Arturo Perlaza Estupiñan
*
María Virginia Ortega León
*
Orlando Patricio Romero Ibarra
*
Erika Katherine Alvarez Vera
*
ABSTRACT
This study addresses a fundamental issue in the field of
sports: the inclusion of athletes with visual impairment in
Ecuador and how a comprehensive approach in the
practice of physical activities and sports can improve both
the inclusion and performance of these athletes. The
objective of the article is to promote a comprehensive
approach in the practice of physical activities and sports for
athletes with visual impairment in Ecuador, in order to
promote their full inclusion in the sporting arena and
improve their athletic performance. The importance of
promoting the inclusion of people with visual impairment
in sports is highlighted, underlining the physical and
psychological benefits that this process can provide. Then,
the current situation of visually impaired athletes in
Ecuador is analyzed and the obstacles they face to fully
participate in physical and sporting activities are identified.
Various strategies and programs that can be implemented
to improve the inclusion and performance of athletes with
visual impairment in Ecuador are explored. These include
adapting sports facilities, training coaches and health
professionals, and promoting an inclusive mindset in
* Msc. Universidad de Guayaquil, alex.perlazae@ug.edu.ec,
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8277-7806
* Msc. Universidad de Guayaquil, virginia.ortegal@ug.edu.ec,
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3590-4045
* Msc. Universidad de Guayaquil, patricio.romeroi@ug.edu.ecm,
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3919-4589
* Msc. Universidad de Guayaquil ,
Erika.alvarezv@ug.edu.ec, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3953-5128
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Tecnológico Superior Corporativo Edwards DemingJanuary - June Vol. 8 - 1 - 2024 https://revista-edwardsdeming.com/index.php/es
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
society. In conclusion, the article advocates for a
comprehensive approach in the practice of physical-sports
activities for athletes of the Ecuadorian Federation of
Sports with Visual Impairment, emphasizing that inclusion
and performance are not mutually exclusive goals, but can
coexist and benefit each other.
Keywords: risks, threat, prevention, fire.
RESUMEN
El presente estudio aborda una cuestión fundamental en el
ámbito deportivo: la inclusión de atletas con discapacidad
visual en Ecuador y cómo un enfoque integral en la práctica
de actividades físicas y deportivas puede mejorar tanto la
inclusión como el rendimiento de estos deportistas. El
objetivo del artículo es promover un enfoque integral en la
práctica de actividades físicas y deportivas para atletas con
discapacidad visual en Ecuador, con el fin de fomentar su
inclusión plena en el ámbito deportivo y mejorar su
rendimiento atlético. Se destaca la importancia de
promover la inclusión de personas con discapacidad visual
en el ámbito deportivo, subrayando los beneficios tanto a
nivel físico como psicológico que este proceso puede
proporcionar. Luego, se analiza la situación actual de los
deportistas con discapacidad visual en Ecuador y se
identifican los obstáculos que enfrentan para participar
plenamente en actividades físicas y deportivas. Se exploran
diversas estrategias y programas que pueden
implementarse para mejorar la inclusión y el rendimiento
de los atletas con discapacidad visual en Ecuador. Esto
incluye la adaptación de instalaciones deportivas, la
formación de entrenadores y profesionales de la salud, y la
promoción de una mentalidad inclusiva en la sociedad. En
conclusión, el artículo aboga por un enfoque integral en la
práctica de actividades físico-deportivas para atletas de la
Federación Ecuatoriana de deportes con discapacidad
visual, destacando que la inclusión y el rendimiento no son
objetivos mutuamente excluyentes, sino que pueden
coexistir y beneficiarse mutuamente.
Palabras clave: riesgos, amenaza, prevención, fuego.
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Tecnológico Superior Corporativo Edwards DemingJanuary - June Vol. 8 - 1 - 2024 https://revista-edwardsdeming.com/index.php/es
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
INTRODUCTION
The practice of physical-sports activities represents an essential component in the life of
any individual, as it not only promotes health and well-being, but also fosters values such
as discipline, teamwork and self-improvement. However, for people with visual
impairment, access to these activities can present unique challenges that require adaptive
and specialized approaches.
(Bacigalupo, Benavides, Gauthier, Salinas, 2017, p88), state that people with visual
impairment who practice a high performance sport point out that participation in a
sport has been favorable, since they have acquired greater mobilization
independently, given the motor skills acquired as a result of the sport. They also point
out that they have noticed a significant change related to social inclusion since it has
changed the vision that society has towards them as people, as they feel that they are
now seen with admiration.
The Ecuadorian Federation of Sports with Visual Impairment (FEDEDEDIV) has emerged
as a fundamental pillar in the promotion and development of sports for athletes with
visual impairment in Ecuador. Through innovative programs and projects, FEDEDIV has
sought not only to facilitate the participation of these athletes in various disciplines, but
also to optimize their performance and competitiveness at the national and international
level.
This research seeks to provide a comprehensive view of the experience of athletes
affiliated to FEDEDIV, highlighting the importance of these activities in their personal
and social development. In addition, it aims to identify areas of opportunity for the
optimization of programs and policies aimed at the inclusion and performance of these
athletes.
(Muñoz, Garrote & Sánchez, 2017, p7), state that the design of effective programs for
individuals with disabilities represents an ongoing challenge in university settings and
sports federations. These must provide services and support both in leisure time and
in sports practice, promoting environments that integrate, normalize and include,
leading to situations that stimulate growth and personal development.
The general objective of this scientific article is to promote a comprehensive approach
in the practice of physical activities and sports for athletes with visual impairment in
Ecuador, in order to promote their full inclusion in the sports environment and improve
their athletic performance.
Visual Impairment and Physical Activity
Visual impairment affects a large percentage of the population in Ecuador, encompassing
a wide range of visual problems that vary in the degree of impairment and limitation, this
creates challenges that require trained professionals to implement programs aimed at
physical activities, recreation and sport. People with visual impairment rely heavily on
other senses, such as touch, hearing and balance, to participate in physical activities safely
and effectively. (Traba and Quizhpe, 2019; Castillo and Romero, 2020).
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e-ISSN: 2576-0971
The physical sports activities of athletes with visual impairment, leave positive
conclusions regarding motivation, fun and positive feelings that produce the realization
of sports programs, although many express the difficulty of transportation and adequate
and close spaces for the constant practice of physical activity and sport has allowed them
to overcome many of these limitations (Borja; Iturricastillo; Castillo; Romaratezabala;
Rodriguez; Irati & Yanci, 2021).
Inclusion and Adapted Sport
People with disabilities who intend to participate in sport encounter many barriers to
participation, they may experience a lack of support, and concerns about safety may
arise when participating in non-adapted environments. These challenges can impact
confidence and motivation to participate in physical activity (Mocha, et al., 2019; Nuñez,
Professor, & Palacio, 2020).
To overcome the challenges associated with visual impairment, it is crucial to implement
specific adaptations and strategies. This may include the use of assistive technology, such
as screen readers or auditory navigation systems, as well as the modification of sports
spaces and equipment to ensure safety and accessibility. The training of professionals
specialized in the inclusion of people with visual impairment in physical activity and sport
plays a key role. "Adapted sport represents a real importance in the personal and social
development of the individual who practices it. One of the main benefits to be taken
into account is that of a psychological nature." (Zucchi, 2001)
Adaptations and Strategies to Facilitate Participation of Persons with
Disabilities
The World Health Organization stresses the importance of physical activity, considers
that its constant performance by people is a factor that positively influences their health
and considers it as a strategy to prevent obesity. This ranges from daily activities such
as household and work tasks, to activities that require effort, such as doing high
performance sports. (Tuqueres and Vaca, 2020; Avalos et al., 2021).
The creation of strategies to include people with disabilities in physical activity and sports
programs is the responsibility of governmental, sports, educational entities and society
in general. These adaptations can be of various kinds, ranging from adjustments in the
physical environment to the implementation of assistive technologies (Caballero and
Aguilar, 2019; Olmedilla, 2020).
It is necessary that according to the population group with which we work, so that
they can progress in the personal and social order, to attend to their possibilities and
potentialities obtained in the evaluation and characterization carried out, and
according to these, the need to make more significant and individualized adaptations
will be greater, therefore, adaptations must be made to the basic elements of the
curriculum, these are: the objectives, contents and methodology (Muñoz, Fleitas,
Tamarit & Figueredo, 2021, p914). (Muñoz, Fleitas, Tamarit & Figueredo, 2021, p914).
Physical and environmental accessibility creates a safe environment for the participation
of all people with various types of disabilities, modification of infrastructure to ensure
access for people with reduced mobility (ramps, elevators, wide corridors), signage and
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Tecnológico Superior Corporativo Edwards DemingJanuary - June Vol. 8 - 1 - 2024 https://revista-edwardsdeming.com/index.php/es
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
tactile guides to facilitate the orientation of people with visual disabilities. Rest spaces
and accessible areas in sports and recreational facilities (Toaquiza, 2020; Zambrano and
Hincapié, 2022).
Assistive technology are also key strategies in promoting physical and cognitive activities
such as chess and various board games, use of devices such as screen readers, voice
recognition software and adapted keyboards for people with visual or motor disabilities.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology for those with speech
difficulties.
Appropriate sports adaptations, such as implements that meet the necessary
characteristics for physical activity for people with various types of disabilities. Adapted
sports equipment and materials, such as sport-specific wheelchairs or hearing balls for
sports such as goalball. Modification of rules or sports modalities to accommodate the
needs of participants with disabilities (Hernández, Gámez and Gamonales, 2021; Díaz,
Pozo and Romero, 2023).
In the case of the visually impaired happens that this pathology are many diseases
related to vision, which suffer many people, some of these have the ability to perform
physical activities passively and others with the possibility of practicing a sport with
the controlled demands of the same (Perez & Perez, 2009).
Challenges in Sports Practice for People with Visual Impairment (FEDEDIV).
The sports federation for the visually impaired aims to develop sports programs and
activities focused on visually impaired people that reflect its commitment to the inclusion
and well-being of this population. First of all, its intention to encourage the practice of
sports and combat sedentary lifestyles among blind people is crucial. This not only
contributes to physical health, but also promotes independence and self-confidence,
which is fundamental to the integral development of each individual. The focus on the
different phases of sports practice, from recreational to high performance, demonstrates
comprehensive attention to the needs and aspirations of the participants, providing them
with opportunities to grow and excel in the sports environment. (Correa et al., 2021;
Cardona et al., 2022).
FEDEDIV stands out for its programs and projects with a participatory and empowered
vision by constantly involving people with visual impairment where it gives them an active
role in their environment, where they are trained with high-level professionals to
influence issues that affect them directly. The sustainability of the services and advances
established during the projects is ensured, as well as their progressive integration into
public policies.
Personalized support from trainers and assistants trained in the inclusion of people with
disabilities, who can provide individualized support. Accompaniment of companions or
guides in activities that require additional guidance or assistance. FEDEDIV seeks
awareness, education and training to promote inclusion and understanding of the needs
of people with disabilities. (Neptali and Rodriguez, 2021).
Inclusive communication ensures that information, such as instructions and
announcements, is available in accessible formats, such as braille, large text or descriptive
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Tecnológico Superior Corporativo Edwards DemingJanuary - June Vol. 8 - 1 - 2024 https://revista-edwardsdeming.com/index.php/es
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
audio. Encourage verbal and non-verbal communication to accommodate different
communication needs. Be prepared to adjust and adapt strategies according to the
individual needs of people with disabilities. Foster an environment open to suggestions
and feedback to enhance participation. (Muñoz et al. 2021).
The challenges are constant for people with visual impairment, but these challenges only
encourage the sports federation for people with visual impairment to continue
developing programs and projects that seek the massification of all sports modalities in
which people with disabilities participate, promoting health, sportsmanship, motivation
and education, with adequate and trained personnel to meet the demands of the
characteristics of this segment of the population. (Sánchez and González, 2020; Palacio
et al., 2021).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The research adopts a comprehensive approach that combines a thorough review of
scientific literature with the collection of testimonies and specific data from the
Ecuadorian Federation of Sports with Visual Impairment (FEDEDEDIV). The importance
of the practice of physical-sports activities for people with visual impairment is supported
through authors such as Bacigalupo, Benavides, Gauthier, Salinas (2017) and Muñoz,
Garrote & Sánchez (2017). In addition, a qualitative approach is employed by collecting
testimonies from individuals with visual impairment who participate in FEDEDIV
programs, providing valuable information about the benefits and effects of sport practice
in their lives. The relevance of specific adaptations and strategies to facilitate the
participation of people with visual impairment in physical activities and sports is
emphasized. The research is supported by quotes from authors such as Borja,
Iturricastillo, Castillo, Romaratezabala, Rodríguez, Irati & Yanci (2021), Zucchi (2001),
Pérez & Pérez (2009), Muñoz, Fleitas, Tamarit & Figueredo (2021) to support the need
to implement these adaptations and strategies in inclusive sport environments. In
summary, the study integrates contributions from the scientific literature with concrete
experiences of FEDEDIV, demonstrating the importance of approaching sport practice
in people with visual impairment in a comprehensive and adaptive manner.
RESULTS
The year 2023 The University of Guayaquil and the (FEDEDEDIV), develop a project for
the study of the practice of physical-sports activities for athletes affiliated to the
Ecuadorian Federation of Sports with Visual Impairment (FEDEDEDIV), reveals an active
participation in various disciplines, such as athletics with a number of 35 athletes, male
Goalball with a number of participants of 70, female Goalball with a number of
participants of 30, Adapted Soccer, number of participants of 45.
These numbers demonstrate a significant interest on the part of the visually impaired
community in the practice of sports. It is encouraging to observe high participation in
both individual and team sports, reflecting the diversity of preferences and abilities within
this community. (Perez et al., 2022).