2020 年 65 巻 p. 337-347
The Paralympic Games are currently in the public spotlight not only as a sporting spectacle but also as a vehicle for empowering individuals with disabilities in society. However, previous research indicates that the Paralympic Games currently cater for a limited variety of impairments, which perhaps reflects a limitation of the Games in this respect.
The aim of this study was to determine whether this premise is valid by considering the empowerment of individuals in society via the Paralympic Games, focusing on groups including both mobility and hearing impairment.
Quantitative data were recovered from a questionnaire survey disseminated to lower secondary departments of special needs education schools for the physically challenged (n = 44, collection rate: 80.0%), lower secondary departments of special needs education schools for the deaf (n = 119, collection rate: 85.6%) and a regular lower secondary school (n = 145, collection rate: 83.8%) used as a control group in prefecture “A” via postal mail. Results were generated using an analysis of variance approach and χ2 test.
The data indicated that the Paralympic Games as a vehicle of empowerment is only valid for those with mobility impairment, and not for those with hearing impairment. This suggests that empowerment through the Paralympic Games may only be effective for individuals with impairments that qualify them for entry into the Paralympic Games, while excluding those with impairments that do not.
Ancillary findings of this study suggest that the majority of those with disabilities were uncertain about hearing impairment and the eligibility criteria of the Paralympic Games. It is also suggested that the Olympic Games have some positive effects in terms of empowering individuals with disabilities in society.