University of Edinburgh

International Society for Physical Activity and Individuals with Visual Impairments or Deafblindness

About the Society


The Mission of this Society is to promote physical activity, sport, and recreation, for individuals who are visually impaired, blind or deafblind throughout their lifetime. We will do this through conferences, providing seminars and on our web site by sharing research, videos, books, and equipment resources.


To help promote each member of society with sensory impairments to meet their full potential.


Any professional, family member, or consumer in the field who believes in the promotion of physical activity for individuals with sensory Impairments across the lifespan. This also includes individuals with multiple or severe disabilities.


The society will promote research, programming, grants development, education, professional preparation in physical activity, physical education, sports, recreation, motor development, and aquatics.


To share research, videos, equipment, books, grant opportunities, conferences, awards, conduct seminars throughout the world, and information.

Founder members

This society was formed as a result of the International Symposium held in 2019 which was organised by Lauren Lieberman, Pam Haibach-Beach and Melanie Perreault (Institute of Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments College at Brockport, SUNY) and John Ravenscroft (Scottish Sensory Centre, University of Edinburgh).

Inaugural Conference

Erik Weihenmayer and Erik kayakingThe Inaugural Symposium on Physical Activity and Individuals with Visual Impairments or Deafblindness took place at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland on Thursday, 9th - Sunday, 12th May 2019

Keynote presentations:

Outline Programme

Thursday, 9th May 2019

  • 3.30pm - 5pm Pre-conference Session
  • 6pm Registration and Evening reception hosted by Prof John Ravenscroft
  • Introduction to key themes Presentation by Pamela Haibach-Beach

Friday, 10th May 2019

  • Keynote with Lauren Leiberman
  • Q&A with Erik Weihenmayer
  • Poster session
  • Plus Practical and Research presentations

Saturday, 11th May 2019

  • Keynote with Judit Gombas
  • Keynote with Pam Haibach-Beach
  • Dinner & Social event

Sunday, 12th May 2019

  • Closing address with John Ravenscroft

Full Programme ...





Footballers' feet


The Scientific Committee welcomed proposals for research, practical sessions and posters to be presented at the conference. The themes were:

Age ranges: Preschool to Adult


The conference was held at John McIntyre Conference Centre, Pollock Halls in Edinburgh
18 Holyrood Park Road
EH16 5AY