Experiences in Physical Education: Exploring the Intersection of Visual Impairment and Maleness

Adapt Phys Activ Q. 2018 Apr 1;35(2):196-213. doi: 10.1123/apaq.2017-0132. Epub 2018 Mar 13.


The purpose of this study was to adopt an explicitly intersectional approach to examine the embodied perspectives of males with visual impairments about physical education. An interpretative phenomenological analysis research approach was used, and six adults (18-33 years) who identified as males with visual impairments acted as participants. The primary sources of data were semistructured, audiotaped, telephone interviews and reflective field notes. Thematic development utilized a four-step interpretative phenomenological analysis-guided analytical process. Based on the data analysis, the following three interrelated themes emerged: (a) "I didn't feel very integrated": Noninclusionary experiences based on blindness; (b) "Oh great, where's my cane now?": Bullying, blindness, and maleness; and (c) "Okay, just do what you can": Competitive culture glass ceiling. The themes highlight several issues that have been faced by males with visual impairments, which should be considered by physical education and adapted physical education personnel to enhance the quality of education for this population.

Keywords: blindness; gender identity; intersectionality; masculinity; physical activity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Masculinity*
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Vision Disorders / psychology*
  • Young Adult