Beep Test for the Vision Impaired
This is a modified version of the standard 20m beep test designed for the specific requirements for the vision impaired, adapted from the shuttle run test described for children with disabilities in The Brockport Physical Fitness Test Manual (Winnick & Short, 2014). The test differs from the standard beep test in that modifications are made to enable blind people to perform the test. The modifications made will depend on the level of vision impairment, but may include changes to the audio signal, and aids to direct them successfully along the track. For more information on the beep test and its variations, see the complete guide to the beep test. Read more about fitness testing for the disabled.
pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions. Measure out the course and place marker cones. Perform an appropriate warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: see the standard beep test description. In general, subjects run up and back along a 20 meter track in time to audio signals (beeps). The time between the beeps reduces approximately every minute, and the subjects continue until they are unable to keep up. In addition, there are modifications that may be implemented to suit vision-impaired subjects, depending on the severity of the vision impairment. Those with limited impairment may be able to run unassisted, but with extra helpers located at either end of the 20m track, and along the side, for safety and to verbally guide the runners if necessary. The audio track may be modified to include more cues to when the turning point is approaching, or this can be done verbally by the assistants. Those runners which a greater level of blindness may need the assistance of a sighted running partner, giving verbal directions and attached with a short tether rope or by grasping the partner's elbow. A guide-wire could also be set up to guide the runner along the track.
scoring: The score is the level and number of 20m shuttles reached before they were unable to keep up with the recording. Record the last level completed, which may not necessarily the level they stopped at. There is a table of norms for the beep test.
target population: this modified beep test is designed for vision impaired athletes.
reliability: The reliability of the beep test would depend on how strictly the test is run, and the practice allowed for the participants. The modifications made to the test to assist the vision impaired runners should be noted, as this could have affected the results.
notes: This test can be used when assessing vision impaired athletes as part of the Brockport Testing Protocols.
reference: Winnick, J. P. & Short, F.X. (2014). The Brockport Physical Fitness Test Manual. 2nd Ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
- Vision Testing
- The complete guide to the beep test, for links to much more information about this test.
- You can create variations of the beep test using the team beep test software.
- About Fitness Testing for the Disabled.
- About the Brockport Testing Protocols.
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