We have established a multi-disciplinary Adaptive Sports Program providing disability education and access to physical fitness to student-athletes, learners, patients, and the community.
The goal of the Adaptive Sports Program is to provide access to physical fitness for all people, regardless of competition level or (dis)ability.
"Our program will not only benefit elite student athletes with disabilities, but also provide opportunities to engage in adaptive sports for the entire student body and greater campus community."
Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of family medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and urology is leading the effort and knows firsthand the benefits of adaptive sports. A former academic All-American athlete himself, he graduated from U-M Medical School in 2011 before acquiring a spinal cord injury in 2013. He knows the feeling of being able to proudly represent your institution both in and out of the classroom, and now draws on his own experience to inform his work with patients and students in his efforts to reduce health disparities for individuals with physical disabilities.
Dr. Okanlami has been partnering with stakeholders across the campus, community and country and the program currently holds weekly wheelchair basketball and tennis drop in sessions varsity track and field, wheelchair tennis, and wheelchair basketball practices 5 days a week, and formed a Sponsored Student Organization full of interested disabled and non-disabled students, residents, faculty, and staff. They created the Michigan ASIRI (Adaptive Sports and Inclusive Recreation Initiative), which now provides every single 6th grader in Ann Arbor Public Schools with the opportunity to play adaptive sports as part of their physical education curriculum.