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For Immediate Release
June 18, 2010

For more information, contact
Nicholas Mascari
(585) 395-2754
nmascari@brockport.edu

Camp Abilities Opens Doors to Fitness for Kids With Visual Impairments

Camp Abilities 6/27-7/3

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Press Release Photo Founder and campr director Lauren Lieberman and co-director, Haley Schevlin

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Brockport, NY – Beginning on June 27 and running through July 3, 56 campers who are visually impaired or deafblind will discover that they can play baseball, perform gymnastics, run track and field events, ride bikes, swim, participate in judo, rollerblade, canoe and play basketball among other activities once thought only accessible to the sighted.

In its 15th year, Camp Abilities, the creation of Lauren Lieberman, PhD, professor of kinesiology, sports studies and physical education at The College at Brockport, will provide a one-week, developmental sports camp for children (9-19 years-old) who are visually impaired, blind, or deafblind.

“One of the major goals of Camp Abilities is to provide children with visual impairment with the opportunity to experience and excel at sports activities, opening them up to the physical and psychological benefits of physical activity and improving their health and well-being,” says Lieberman.

The campers will be instructed by more than 70 counselors from all over the US, Guatemala, Ireland, and Sweden, 30 of whom are College at Brockport undergraduate and graduate students. To date, Camp Abilities has trained more than 800 future teachers in the area of sport and recreation for children with sensory impairments.

During opening ceremonies at 3 pm, Sunday, June 27, Camp Abilities was recognized by The New York State Commission for the Blind and the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) with the "Jim Burch Above and Beyond Award."

On Monday and Tuesday, June 28 and 29, The Long Island Bombers a beep baseball team in which all the players are visually impaired visited the camp and gave demonstrations and taught campers how to play the sport of beep baseball. Also new this year, campers will use a new Wii computer application -- VI Fit “Exergames” -- designed to help those with visual impairment become more physically active and healthy using video game technology. Campers will be playing Wii bowling, tennis, fit and Dance-Dance Revolution as part of their camping experience. (Lieberman was a member of the team that developed the new suite of Wii software applications).

“Exergames” are adaptations of popular Wii Sports games that can be played without visual feedback. Early research (some conducted at last year’s Camp Abilities) indicates that playing the games elevated the players’ heart rates into the “moderate to vigorous” range, contributing to the players’ cardiovascular health.

To learn more about Camp Abilities, go to: www.campabilitiesbrockport.org/.

For a detailed schedule of Camp Abilities activities, go to: .www.campabilitiesbrockport.org/pdf/Schedule2010.pdf


The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu

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