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ACE and the Special Olympics Launch New Continuing Education Course to Make Physical Activity More Inclusive

Posted: April 5, 2021 in Suppliers


SAN DIEGO, CA – The American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Special Olympics have collaborated on a new course to promote inclusion within the fitness industry. This new course, created and led by Special Olympics, is specifically designed to provide exercise professionals with the knowledge and guidance to successfully serve and support individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) in their physical activity journey.

“ACE is committed to providing education to exercise professionals to ensure that all people, including those with intellectual disabilities, have the opportunity to live a full, healthy life with ready access to appropriate physical activity opportunities,” said ACE president and chief science officer Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., FACSM. “This new course is very much needed in our industry and we were thrilled to partner with Special Olympics to make this possible.”

Led by a team of four experts, this course will discuss the best practices for supporting a person with ID, improving their physical activity levels and ultimately, their overall health and fitness. True to ACE, exercise professionals will learn communication, motivation and behavior-change strategies specific to supporting this underserved population.

According to Special Olympics, people with ID are two times more likely to have obesity, heart disease and have a life expectancy is 16 years sooner than their age-related peers. While physical activity can decrease these risks, only about 10% of people with ID meet the World Health Organization’s guidelines for physical activity. Barriers such as lack of inclusive fitness opportunities within their community, and inadequate knowledge and confidence of health and exercise professionals create such health disparities.

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