Where We Came From (Background)

MOBALE was established in 2015 from models followed by a previous Sports Education Camp in the New England area. It is run by a board of directors who share years of experience and passion related to visual impairment and blindness, sports, teaching and competition.

Sports Education Camp (SEC) for Students Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision
What is the Sports Education Camp? The SEC is an alternative model of providing instruction in motor skill development in a structured manner for children who are blind or have low vision. The SEC uses the AccesSports Model (ASM) developed at Western Michigan University. This model was developed to aid in the adaptation of goals, boundaries, and rules within each sport at the Sport Education Camp, and involves providing the instruction in specific motor skills by using literal descriptors, hands on teaching and constant verbal feedback.

Background of the Sports Education Camp
The Sports Education Camp (SEC) was developed with the express notion of providing adaptive techniques for participating in sports to children with visual impairments. The SEC started in 1988 through a combined effort of Western Michigan University's (WMU) Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies and the Michigan Blind Athletic Association (MBAA). This camp was developed as a one-week sports education camp consisting of introductory and advanced sports-training clinics culminating with a final day of spectator-supported sports competition. The AccesSports Model is utilized during introductory clinics to provide instruction in basic body mechanics used for running, jumping, and throwing, and for learning sport-specific skills in sports such as wrestling, track and field, swimming, goalball, fencing, rock climbing, and bowling. Each student receives approximately 30 hours of instruction in clinics or competitions during the camp. There are now Sports Education Camps for children who are blind or have low vision in every region of the country, but Maine's is the only SEC in New England.

The effectiveness of the short-term sports education camp instruction model on physical performance and self-perception of children with visual impairments has been widely demonstrated. In addition, offering the SEC in a residential setting where participants could interact with other students with visual impairments provides the added benefit of peer mentoring and exposure to adult role models, which is also lacking in a student's community due to the low incidence nature of visual impairment.




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