Strong Minds Through Active Bodies is a free online course for physical activity students, professionals, and people supporting autistic youth and adults to access physical activity programs and spaces. Participants who access this free course will learn about autism, neurodiversity, ableism, and autistic mental health. They will have access to crowd-sourced creative ideas to improve accessibility to community programs and physical activity for autistic youth and adults, and will have opportunities to contribute to a community of practice through discussion board posts and a written assignment.
This project involved direct consultation with autistic youth and adults, carepersons of autistic adults, and professional subject matter experts to shape critical components of our training resource for students and professionals. The people we consulted with shared openly their lived experiences and ideas to create safer physical and psychological environments for people to thrive mentally and physically in the programs fitness and recreation professionals deliver. Funded by Autism Speaks Community Grants, this course was created by Autism Ontario in partnership with Variety Village, Apex Academy Online, and Partners for Planning.
We invite any person with an interest or goal of creating accessible, inclusive, and impactful physical activity programming to take this course. The course curriculum and the digital resource follow research and ideas shared in The Blueprint for Building Quality Participation in Sport for Children, Youth, and Adults with a Disability developed through the Canadian Disability Participation Project, as well as the A Blueprint for Building Quality Participation in Sport for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder.