“Sports is our universal language. Through sports, children learn how to count, read, and develop other academic skills,” says Sileno, who works as the coordinator of adapted physical education at the non-profit Associação Desportiva Para Deficientes (ADD).
As the father of a child with special needs, Sileno has been passionate in advocating for inclusive sports opportunities for youth with disabilities for the past 14 years. His responsibilities at ADD include facilitating the orientation on adapted physical education and sports for the program’s youth participants, developing curriculums around adapted physical education activities, and conducting physical assessments. Sileno also plays the roles of teacher, counselor, and coach for youth with and without a disability.
Prior to the ADA International Fellowship Program, Sileno was selected to participate in a U.S.–Brazil exchange program promoting inclusive sports in 2013.
As an ADA International Fellow representing Brazil, Sileno was interested in learning the most effective strategies and tools to promote the development of adapted physical education for youth with a disability. For his project, he created adapted physical education curriculums and activities to implement in public schools in Sao Paulo.
This fellowship gave Sileno the opportunity to gain more skills for training physical education teachers to promote inclusive adapted physical education, using a “train the trainer” methodology, to sustain these efforts in the community.
He pursued his Fellowship with the Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama, under the supervision of Dr. Amy Rauworth and Dr. Karin Korb.