PE For The Physically Disabled

Phys ED for The Physical Disabled

Students with permanent or temporary mental, physical or emotional disabilities, who are
unable to have all their educational needs met in a regular physical education class
during the school day or to be adequately educated in the public schools are identified
as “children with disabilities.” These students need special consideration in the planning
and implementation of the physical education program being provided to them. If not, they will not be able to participate safely and / or successfully, thus not gain the physical, social, and psychological benefits that a quality physical education program can offer. In many cases regular physical education teachers are not equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively include children with disabilities into their classes. This document offers some basic information on how the physical education teacher can ensure that services are available to everyone they teach (North Carolina Physical Education 4 me, 2007).

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires schools to provide fitness; fundamental motor skills and patterns; and skills in aquatics, dance and individual and group games and sports. According to the students Individualized Education Program (IEP), physical education teachers are required to develop IEP goals for students in physical education.

The North Carolina Public School system have created a resource (brochure) for physical education teachers to give them ideas and suggestions of various modifications that can be done for a variety of games or sports, as well as modifying the use of certain equipment. PE teachers should minimize the amount of actions that students with physical disabilities have to perform and create boundaries on playing fields and decreasing the distance in which students have to run.

Not only in the US are educators advocating for better physical education instruction for the disabled, but in the United Kingdom it wasn’t until recently in the past 10 years or so that legislation has moved forward to bring “a more inclusive education system, which recognizes individual diversity and responds in proactive ways to create access to mainstream course for the physically disabled.”

The Physical Education National Curriculum has considered the fact that it is not so much an individual’s medical condition that completely hinders the student from participating in the activities, but the need for teachers to try and adapt and/or modify their teaching approach.

One example of this is (depending on the disability) to focus on the skill that each individual student may need to develop. Thus requiring differentiated instruction where students are challenged but not feeling as though they cannot reach their goal.

To read more please click on the following link:


North Carolina Public Schools, Teaching, Responding and Communicating Inclusive Physical Education Brochure.

This page was added by: Kai Blackwood