An inquiry into the barriers to participation within the fitness industry for people living with mobility challenges
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This qualitative study was designed to inquire about the barriers to participation within the fitness industry for people living with mobility challenges. i\n examination of the insights, stolies~ and experiences with barriers through interviews gi ven by 4 people living with mobility challenges (PMC) formed the core of the research. An analysis of the interviews from the 4 PMC informants was performed at t\\/O levels. First, a content analysis served to identify general and specific categories related to barrier issues within various fitness environments. Secondly, in-depth thematic analyses of the entries related to the insights and stories from the 4 informants which emerged from the content analysis of the data gave rise to fi ve thematic statements. From the thematic statements a fitness industry awareness protocol was created in the fonn of a statement response questionnaire. The protocol, which was given to 4 fitness assessors/trainers, \vas used to provide a snapshot of the fitness industry's readiness to work vvith disability. Throughout the process, the four PNIC informants formed a collaborati vely involved group of coresearchers, adding their voices to the narrative of the fitness-barrier experience. The result of the study suggests that barriers to participation within the fitness industry for PMC exist in various forms and levels of severity. The results also suggest that the fitness industry needs to better prepare their people and environment for working with people with physical disabilities, such as PMC, and provide a more open and positi ve environment for participation. Within the context of any fitness-related environment, recognizing that barriers to participation do exist, and acknowledging and accepting people with disabilities for who they are as indi viduals, will serve to develop a relationship where fitness practitioners and people with disabilities can work towards creating an inviting, inclusive, accessible, and barrier-free fitness environment for all.