Professor Laura Misener has been confirmed as a keynote speaker at September’s VISTA 2017 Conference in Toronto, Canada.
The Canadian native currently serves as an associate professor at the school of kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario. She is a member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Social Legacy Forum that advises the IPC Sports Science Committee on the strategic objective: socio-economic determinants of Paralympic success.
“I am proud to be able to share my work on disability sport impacts with the broader sporting community,” Misener said. “It’s particularly relevant to me to be able to be part of this conversation in Canada where I work closely with disability sport groups on promoting opportunities for sport participation.”
The theme of this year’s conference which will take place Sept. 20 to 23 is “Opportunities, Challenges in Paralympic Sport Science & Sport Medicine Support.”
With her expertise, Misener will share her knowledge about the impact of the Paralympic Games on opportunities for participation in sport, attitudes toward disability and overall governance of disability sport.
“The aim of my talk is to move our conversation beyond the barriers to participation and consider how we can negotiate constraints in social and infrastructural context to improve opportunities, spaces, and places for participation,” she said. “I will be drawing upon my work of three ongoing studies on Event Legacies of disability sport events, media representations of Paralympic athletes, and governance of disability sport.”
One of the main takeaways for participants, Misener said, is to “recognize the importance of interdisciplinary research on disability sport.
“Further, I hope that we can move the conversation away from barriers to considering negotiating constraints which focuses on the positive opportunities of the Movement,” she said.
“In this I hope to raise awareness of the critical and difficult conversations necessary in the way we use and represent disability sport and athletes. I hope to highlight the current disconnect between the mission, vision, and values of the Paralympic Movement and challenge researchers to consider this in their research. Given the lack of research on disability sport, I hope that participants will see the importance and value of further research in this area.”
The VISTA conference, an IPC biennial event, is this year hosted by the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. It is designed to provide a platform for sport scientists and researchers to meet with experts in the field of sport for athletes with impairments to discuss, exchange, and gain advanced knowledge in this area.
It was first held in 1993 and has since developed a global reputation for acting as a platform for debate, discussion and dialogue on key issues relating to the growth of the Paralympic Movement.