Making Use of Resources
- The pupil
No one has a better insight into a child's abilities, likes, and dislikes, than the child himself or herself. Both pupil and teacher will be eager to find a way for the pupil to participate fully. Think of this as a learning situation for teacher and pupil. Discuss your ideas with the child, challenge him or her to think of adaptations, or of new types of games to play.
Remember, pupils that have had an input into developing a game or activity are likely to be more motivated and interested in participating in it.
- The Classmates
Along with a pupil who has some type of impairment, there may be many classmates who are willing to help. Peers can help by working in a buddy system, or by contributing their ideas of adaptations to make games more inclusive. These will work best if the class has engaged in activities to improve awareness. Awareness activities that could be tried are:
- Sensitizing activities: the peers can simulate having an impairment by wearing a blindfold, restricting the movement of an arm, using a wheelchair, etc. During this time they can attempt different sports skills, and discuss their thoughts afterwards.
- Class discussions: the class can discuss how sport and physical activity is enjoyed by different types of people; young and old, male and female, non-disabled persons and persons with disabilities. Photographs or video clips from the Paralympic Games can be very useful for such discussions, as the Games feature a wide range of sports for people with different types of impairment.
- The Specialists
Organizing physical activity for children involves specialist knowledge from the fields of education, health, and sports. Can we learn from all the specialists in these three areas?
Health professionals: physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists
These professionals are experienced in developing games and activities with specific therapeutic goals for children with disabilities. It may be possible to include some of these therapeutic goals within the PE lesson. They are also the best source of information about specialist equipment that a child may be using for mobility, seating, or communication.
Sports development officers and club coaches may have years of experience in organizing sports. In particular, they may have strategies for organizing exercise and games with large groups of children.
It can be helpful to look at how other schools have dealt with inclusion in physical education. There may be teachers at primary or second level in your area who have particular experience in this.
- Adapted sports organizations for people with disabilities
These organizations can be a good resource to learn more about particular sports, specialist equipment that is used at competitive level, and training techniques used by specific disability groups. You can learn more about specific sports that have been developed for people with disabilities, such as boccia, petra-running, and polybat.
- Publications, Internet Resources, CD-ROM
There are two specialist journals in the area of inclusive sport and physical activity. These are very useful resources for learning about current research and thinking in this area:
- Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly (Human Kinetics)
- Palaestra: Forum of Sport, Physical Education and Recreation for Those with Disabilities (Palaestra).
There are various Web sites on the subject of adapted physical activity, which can provide ideas. The NCHPAD Web site (www.ncpad.org) provides links to a wide range of useful Web sites.Three of the best books on the subject of inclusion in physical education and sport are:
- Adapted Physical Activity, Recreation and Sport
Claudine Sherrill (WCB / McGraw-Hill, 1998).
- Strategies for Inclusion: A Handbook for Physical Educators
Lauron Lieberman and Cathy Houston-Willis (Human Kinetics, 2002).
- Inclusion Through Sports
Ronald W. Davis (Human Kinetics, 2002).
The THENAPA Network has produced a CD-ROM designed to help teachers and coaches learn more about adapting physical activity for people with a disability.
- Adapt CD-Rom
This is available from,
Prof. Herman Van Coppenolle,
Tervuursevest 101, B-3001 Heverlee,