Yuba College students with physical disabilities enrolled in Adaptive Physical Education courses will have a new building to occupy in spring 2005. The building, located on the west side of campus is in the final process of completion and is loaded with specialized amenities to aid these students in meeting their physical goals. Currently, Adaptive P.E. courses are being held in the ageing 1200 building next to the construction site, which isn’t adequately situated for Physical Education.
“It’s like moving from a shack into a mansion,” stated Carolyn Akers, instructor of all the current Adaptive P.E. courses on the Marysville campus.
Originally, the multi-functional Adaptive Physical Education facility was planned to be built in conjunction with the DSPS building in 1990. It was postponed so that this building would be closer to the gymnasium and other Physical Education facilities on the Yuba College campus.
After more than a decade as merely a proposition, the building was approved for construction in 2003 in part because of funding from Prop. 47. According to Rod Beilby, Dean of Physical Education Department and Athletic Director at Yuba College, “Because the building was approved for construction years after its submission, only minor modifications could be made to the original plan.”
Once everything was finalized, the building was designed to accommodate students with different types of disabilities. The new facility includes a Hydro Room containing a whirlpool that will be used by students with disabilities as well as Yuba College athletes; a spa room that will potentially house water exercise classes; an assessment room; ample restrooms with changing areas; an adaptive physical education’ closet.
Most of the equipment used in the Adaptive P.E. Room has been approved by the Americans with Disabilities Association and can be used by people with different disabilities and other physical limitations. Among the equipment, treadmills with a wide range of walking and elevation speeds as well as useful features such as heart rate monitoring have been purchased, as well as therapy balls, recumbent bicycles and elliptical trainers. Although disabled students are a very small population of Yuba College, they have been without adequate physical education facilities for a long time.
According to Akers, “Adaptive Physical Education is just like any other physical education courses, but is adapted to specific student needs. Back problems, knee problems, whatever it may be, each program is unique just as each student is unique.” Each student has an individualized program of exercise; which is recommended by their doctor and adapted to fit their physical needs in the class. “Adaptive P.E. is not physical therapy, but the movement and exercise can be healing and healthful to a student,” Akers continued.
For some students such as Christina Balestreri, the new facilities will offer relief for her disability. In mentioning the ways that the new equipment will be of benefit to her, she noted, “They’re going to have machines that move your legs and stimulate brain cells to remember walking and feeling, and the therapeutic pool takes the weight off of you and relaxes your back.” Akers hopes that new classes such as low impact Pilates and water exercises with weights will be developed in future years.
Tammy Burgher, a Yuba College student since 1997 is excited about the new building, noting that the classes already help keep her motivation and strength up.
Few students know that they don’t need to have a serious disability to enroll in Adaptive P.E. classes. Complications can be major or minor and anyone that suffers from discomfort while exercising due to injury or disability is encouraged to visit an ongoing class or enroll at the beginning of each semester. These courses are available to Yuba College students and are listed in the schedule of classes alongside other physical education courses.