The purpose of adapted physical education (APE) is to make appropriate adaptations and modifications to physical education activities such as exercises, games, rhythms, and sports in order to provide the opportunity for students of all ability levels to engage in physical activity. Adoption of lifelong healthy behaviors is influenced by APE experiences and participation, with the APE teacher acting as the facilitator for such experiences. In order to facilitate successful learning experiences, the teacher should be knowledgeable of the needs of each student and how these needs are going to be addressed during lesson planning and through the development of the class. These needs are different from student to student, even if their disabilities appear similar.
Creating a successful APE class takes a lot of effort and its success relies mostly on the teacher’s knowledge and ability to plan. During the planning phase, the teacher should accumulate information that determines the modifications and inclusive strategies to be adopted during the class learning experiences. It is paramount that the students’ personal goals for sports and recreation are considered when designing learning experiences and establishing goal outcomes. An effective class pays close attention to each student’s class participation; maximizing participation means providing more opportunities for students to be active, to socialize, to master skills, and to improve health and quality of life.
Ultimately, the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of the class depends on appropriate use of assessments/assessment tools. The students should be included in the class evaluation process and the assessment tools should be centered on the students. This brochure highlights concepts and strategies to consider when creating, maintaining, and evaluating an APE class.