Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:An Interpretation of the History of Wheelchair Basketball: An archival study of the University of Illinois wheelchair basketball team.
Author(s):Mogged, Ashley
Abstract:This study investigates the history of wheelchair basketball that started during World War II and looks at the role of the media and the context of war in its growing popularity. On the basis of internet and archival research, the project finds that many disabled veterans turned to sports, following the advice of doctors, as a type of therapy, a sense of escape from their traumatic war experiences. The University of Illinois and newspapers strongly encouraged veterans to attend the university. The University of Illinois became one of the best places for disabled veterans after it got hold of the army’s Mayo General Hospital, which included 117 one-story buildings that were wheelchair-friendly. The study finds that, although it is disputed who was the first to come up with wheelchair basketball, records show that the University of Illinois was the first college to offer wheelchair basketball as a collegiate sport. The author further discusses media coverage and discovers that the media support for wheelchair basketball throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s started to dwindle during the 1970’s to the present day.
Issue Date:2006-05-15
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-08-24

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.
  • The University and the Community
    This collection of student research interrogates the relationships between the university and the local community.

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