Adapted Physical Education
Course Introduction

Welcome to your service learning experience focusing on the community of disability and physical activity. The purpose of this class is three-fold: (1) to understand the legal requirements as designated by Public Law 108-446, (2) to understand the unique characteristics of disability and how it can affect teaching, and (3) to learn as you participate in your service learning experience, the unique attributes of families and individuals with disabilities as it pertains to their challenges, their development, and their daily life. The course philosophy is, “We must become the change we want to see in the world”…..Mahatma Gandhi

For you to change the way we teach students with disabilities in physical education, you must change the way you see disability. As you participate in class and your service learning experience, I will ask you to talk about ability versus disability. Your reflections will document not only your experience but also how the experience has heightened your learning and understanding of course concepts including the concept of disability.

The true engagement of service learning also comes from reciprocity of an experience. Depending upon where you have your experience, I will ask that you learn from the families and the participants themselves. Expectations include weekly contact with the families and participants which will assist you in understand their child’s or personal needs through the experience. This communication, or what we will call reciprocity of learning, is essential to your experience. Families who have children with disabilities have very unique needs and experiences as a result of disability. What you can learn from them will enhance your teaching of their child. Individuals with disabilities also experience the world differently that you and I. Their desire for physical activity may also be significantly different than yours so your understanding and appreciation of such will be vital to your experience.

Concluding your service learning experience is your clinic report. This report acts to summarize your reflections and reveal your professional expertise for the next service learning student. You will be asked to write in your report specific, achievable physical education goals and objectives (i.e., IEP), behavior management strategies, and future assessment items for the following semester. This information is shared with families and participants for their use or knowledge regarding their child or self.

I hope that you look forward to your experience both in and out of the classroom. If fully realized, the experience will shape you as a person and as a teacher.
Dr. Stanton-Nichols

HPER 398: Adapted Physical Education
Spring 2010

Instructor: Katie Stanton-Nichols, Ph.D.

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with an understanding of disability as it pertains to teaching individuals with disabilities in the physical education environment. Course information will extend to federal legislation, assessment, placement, and teaching styles used with students with disabilities. Additionally, students will be engaging in a service learning program that will enhance their understanding of unique disability characteristics, assist in understanding teaching modifications, and assist in providing a quality physical activity program for the local disability community.

Course Objectives related to IUPUI’s Principles of Undergraduate Learning:

  • Integration and Application of Knowledge
  • (IAK)
  • Knowledge and applied understanding of the unique physical, social and learning characteristics associated with the various disabilities.
  • Knowledge and applied understanding of referral, assessment and placement process for possible special education programming.
  • Knowledge and applied understanding of family perspectives concerning ability and disability.
  • Knowledge and applied understanding of the physical educator’s role in the team process to educating students with disabilities.
  • Understanding of the decision making process regarding placement as related to individuals with disabilities.
  • Critical Thinking (CT) Ability to conceptualize disability
  • Ability to distinguish between social construction of disability and personal perception of disability
  • Ethics (E) Understanding of the challenges related to teaching individuals with disabilities
  • Development of personal philosophy regarding individuals with disabilities
  • Writing (W) Ability to write in an expressive, concise and communicative manner
  • Technology (T) Ability to use the computer effectively and efficiently (e.g., word processing and reference)

Required Text:
Auxter, D., Pyfer, J., Zittel, L. Roth, K. & Huettig, C. (2008) (11th Ed). Principles and methods of adapted physical education. McGraw Hill.


There will be four major themes discussed in this course: (1) legal mandates related to special education and adapted physical education, (2) teaching modifications, (3) behavior management, and (4) disability characteristics and modifications. Each will be discussed in some detail, however, please note that certain details will not be covered due to time constraints.

1) Legal Mandates in Special Education and Adapted Physical Education:
We will begin the course discussing legal mandates. Adapted physical education is by law, a service that all students with disabilities must receive. The laws are very specific and require you to understand how students qualify for services. We will discuss, in detail, specific laws that outline adapted physical education services and responsibilities of teachers. The expectation is that you will carry this knowledge throughout the semester understanding how it relates to other course content.

2) Teaching Styles and modifications:
While many of you may think the main purpose of this course is to discuss how to teach students with disabilities, you may also find that working with students with disabilities is quite simple and practical. Teaching modifications are often a result of several factors and often, generalizing about how to modify gives the teacher the wrong impression. We will discuss particular “must do’s” with certain disabilities, practice management styles, and observe equipment modifications. You will not become experts but you will gain experience and confidence in your abilities.

3) Positive Behavior Management:
Teaching requires management; simply sharing information with students doesn’t always help students learn and planning activities that are fun doesn’t ensure student’s attention to the task. There are specific management styles often used to help students with disabilities stay focused in order to learn. There will review these styles and during your clinical experience, you will have plenty of time to practice.

4) Disability Characteristics:
The federal law defined specific disability categories that can receive special education services. During the course, we will discuss how the law views disability as well as how specific categories may be affected by participation in physical education. Discussion of these characteristics will be discussed towards the later part of the course.


Research Assignment 50 points
To help prepare you for your clinical experience, you will be required to search the web and literature to find out “as much as you can” regarding your client’s disability. Minimum you are required to search two web sites and two research/topic articles, summarize the information, reference your citations, and submit to the professor. Summary must be typed and no less than two pages. Submission can be in paper or electronic forms.

Barrier Free Paper 60 points
You will be required to spend 4 hours in a wheelchair or otherwise disabled during a day. The purpose of this assignment is to broaden your experience in a wheelchair/disabled, the barriers faced, the physical constraints of the campus and the modifications you had to make during your day. After spending your 4 hours in the chair, you will be required to write a summary of the events that took place during your “adventure” (2 page minimum-12 pt. font, standard margins).

APE Service Learning Experience 140 points
You are required to attend a pre-arranged practicum sight for a total of 14 hours. Each session is worth a total of 10 points and you will be graded on your performance during these sessions. These practicum settings are crucial to your learning experience and cannot be dismissed.

Clinical Portfolio 150 points
You will be asked to put together a portfolio related to your clinic experience. Because each of you will participate in a different setting, the requirements for this assignment will differ. See Appendix C for further details.

Disposition Assessment 100 points
You will be assessed on how you evolve as a teacher during this course. This assessment will be reviewed with you during the first week of class and assessed throughout the course.

Exams 225 points
There will be three exams given throughout the semester. If you have 97% or above in the class, you will not be required to take the last exam. The exams will be a combination of multiple choice, short-answer and essay and will be elaborated upon when necessary. FAILURE TO TAKE THE LAST EXAM WITHOUT THE APPROPRIATE PERCENTAGE EXEMPTION WILL RESULT IN A FAILING GRADE.

Assignment Point Value Principles of UGL
Research Assignment 50 T, W, IAK
Barrier Free Assignment 60 CT, IAK,W,E
Clinic Attendance 140 IAK
Disposition Assessment 100 E, CT, IAK
Clinic Portfolio 150 CT, IAK, W, E
Examinations 225 IAK, CT, W, E
Total Points 725

Your grades will be calculated by dividing the number of points you have earned on each assignment by the total number of points possible (%). Final grades will be based upon the following percentages:

100-98= A+ 89-87= B+ 79-77= C+ 69-66= D+
97-94= A 86-83= B 76-73= C 65-62= D
93-90= A- 82-80= B- 72-70= C- 61-60= D-


Your attendance requirement that will affect your grade is your attendance at your clinical. If you miss a clinical experience, 10 points will be deducted from your grade. If you are late and do not call either Dr. Stanton or one of the program assistants, 5 points will be deducted from your attendance grade. YOU CANNOT MAKE UP UNEXCUSED CLINIC ABSENCES. The only reasonable excuses to miss clinical experiences are illness, REAL family emergencies, or other such circumstances. Additionally, your clinic grade will be deducted by 5 points each time you come to clinic unprepared (e.g., no lesson plan, incomplete lesson plan, improperly dressed, missing forms, etc.)

Class attendance is not required but obviously highly recommended. I will not give unscheduled tests or quizzes but the schedule will most definitely change. PLEASE NOTE, FREQUENT ANNOUNCEMENTS REGARDING SCHEDULE CHANGES ARE MADE IN CLASS AND ARE NOT ALWAYS POSTED ON ONCOURSE….IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO FIND OUT THE CHANGES.

Missed exams cannot be made up unless circumstances allow (as decided by the professor). If you have an already schedule conflict on an exam day, you must schedule to take the exam before the date on the syllabus. If you do not qualify to miss the last exam and fail to take it, you will fail the class.

All assignments are due on the date and time listed on the syllabi or per changes as announced by the professor. You must turn in all assignments in class at the beginning of class. Late assignments are not accepted unless PREVIOUSLY arranged by the professor student.

Unacceptable Behavior:
In clinic:
Clinic is a professional experience and must be treated as such. Dress, preparedness, and behavior are of the utmost importance. Therefore, you will be graded on all aspects of your behavior at clinic. Specific requirements will be identified during clinic training.

In class:
Certain behaviors in class make it hard to teach. Continual talking to classmates and joking, cell phones ringing, and sleeping are certainly distracting and somewhat intolerable. Perhaps the most annoying behaviors are attempts to plagiarize or cheat on an assignment. I would much prefer they not occur. Any incident of cheating will be dealt with according to University policy and will be reported.

At schools:
One’s behavior at schools will always be representative of IUPUI and the department. You must regard your behavior at the schools the same as defined in clinic training including dress, preparedness, and general professionalism.


Dates Topic Readings and Assignments PUL’s
Week One
1/13-1/15 Intro/Class Orientation
Explanation of course requirements
Definition of Adapted Physical Education
Federal Legislation Ch. IAK, CT, E

Week Two
1/20-1/22 Placement Options/Assessment
Least Restrictive Environment
Inclusion Ch. CT

Week Three
1/27-1/29 Individualization (concept of..)
Identification of learner needs
Activity Modifications
Teaching Modifications Ch. IAK, CT

Week Four
2/3-2/5 Exam Review
Exam #1

Week Five
2/10-2/12 Positive Behavior Management
Discussion of Clinics
Managing students in LRE continuum Ch.
Research assignment due IAK

Week Six
2/17-2/19 Cognitive Disabilities Ch.
Web based readings IAK, E

Week Seven
2/24-2/26 Social Emotional Disabilities Ch.
Web based readings IAK, E

Week Eight
3/3-3/5 Exam Review
Exam #2

Week Nine
3/10-3/12 SPRING BREAK

Week Ten
3/17-3/19 Sensory Disabilities
Orientation and Mobility Barrier Free Assignment Due
Ch. IAK, CT, E

Week Eleven
3/24-3/26 Orthopedic impairments
Ch. CT

Week Twelve
3/31-4/2 Orthopedic impairments Ch.

Week Thirteen
4/7-4/9 Neuromuscular Disabilities IAK, CT, E

Week Fourteen
4/14-4/16 TBA
4/16-Clinic Portfolio Due

Week Fifteen

Week Sixteen
4/28-4/30 Exam review

Final Exam May 5th, 10:30-12:30pm

Clinic, Settings, Dates and Times

Ability Fitness Clinic
Tuesday 5:15-7:00pm
National Institute of Fitness and Sport Motor Activity Clinic
Saturday 8:45-10:45 am
Natatorium Gymnasium
Clinic Training 2/17

School of PETM Conference Room

  • Introduction
  • Review of Policies and Procedures
  • Review of clinic manual and assignments
  • Review of client information
  • Tour of NIFS Clinic Training 2/21

School of Physical Education -HP Lab

  • Introduction
  • Review of Policies and Procedures
  • Review of clinic manual and assignments
  • Review of client information

Clinic Participation:
Clinic participation is a vital aspect of this course. Working with your clients will provide you will a better understanding of course principles and certainly help your confidence in programming for those with disabilities. While you may have reservations about the time required outside of class or your ability, please rest assured that you will be adequately prepared and will definitely learn along the way. Training sessions are designed to provide you with more detailed information. You will not meet your clients until the following week. The remaining dates you will work with your client directly.

Motor Activity Clinic:
The IUPUI Motor Activity Clinic (MAC) serves families and children with disabilities in Indianapolis and surrounding community areas. Housed in the Department of Physical Education at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, the clinic offers physical activity and aquatic instruction for children, ages three through 15 with various types of disabilities. 
Since 1997, nearly 450 children with disabilities have participated in the clinic, which continues to be a fundamental source for families who want additional physical activity opportunities for their children. The clinic, while focused on children, also serves to educate families and future professionals in the area of disability and activity. The clinic does not provide free therapy from licensed therapists. Instead, our volunteers are primarily comprised of students who are seeking degrees in physical education, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and related areas. By participating, students and volunteers receive invaluable experience working with children and are truly the heart and soul of the program. 
 Children learn through a variety of experiences, practice, and continual challenge. The clinic strives to provide activities that meet the needs of individual participants.

Ability Fitness Clinic:
The Ability Fitness clinic is an exercise program designed to meet the needs of adults with disabilities. Participants will receive a individualized assessment and exercise prescription designed specifically by participating students. The program strives to increase the function and independence of those participating as well as helping students learn best practices in exercise modification for individuals with disabilities.

Appendix A
Designing your Portfolio
Your portfolio is due April by 5:00pm (NO EXCEPTIONS)

Submission and format:
At the end of the your semester, you will submit your portfolio for grading. Have your portfolio well organized. This is a reflection of you, your professionalism, and your personality. You may submit your portfolio in paper or disk form, however, I will need you to send me a copy via email or give a copy to me on disk. IF you are capable of developing your portfolio as a website, I would strongly suggest you do.

Clinic Portfolio Introduction:
Your clinic portfolio is designed to be a reflection tool that documents your learning as you engaged in your clinic experience. The report will be used to grade your experience. As such, I will consider the quality of your reflection, the degree to which you genuinely engaged in your experience, and your ability to write about the experience for public dissemination. This is your opportunity to display your talents and proficiencies and demonstrate your knowledge and skills. The question that should be asked is, “What am I trying to tell the reader about myself?” All portfolios must include:
A brief yet interesting biographical sketch; not a lengthy resume or page-filling paper of yourself. A short essay that tells the reader about yourself and your professional goals. This should include why you chose physical education as your field, what kind of teacher you plan to be, and how you plan to incorporate diverse teaching approaches in your classroom.

Responses to the following questions:

  • Previous to this experience, how many opportunities had you had to work with students with disabilities in a physical education/activity setting?
  • What was your perception of people with disabilities prior to this experience?
  • Have any of the above changed since taking part in your service learning experience? If so, how? If not, why?
  • Given the limitations of a semester, what other experiences or opportunities would you like to have had that would increase your understanding of disability?
  • If you could chose one thing about this class that you want more of or less of, what would it be and why?
  • As you move towards your professional career, what are your plans to appropriate implement IDEA and FAPE into your teaching practice?

A short essay about your teaching philosophy, how you teach and how your teaching has changed since having this experience. Avoid any lengthy discourse but clarify how or if your approach to teaching may change as a result of this experience (be speculative and consider that you may have a variety of teaching situations)

**Further details regarding content will be shared with you towards the conclusion of your experience.

Appendix B
IEP Report Format
Name of Student: ___________________________________

Present Level of Motor Performance:

Student’s needs, preferences, interests in physical education/activity:

Annual Goals (3):

Short-term Objective(s)
Criteria Modifications Needed to achieve goals

Appendix C
Research Assignment

Why you are doing this assignment:
The purpose of this assignment is to prepare you for your clinical setting. You will be assigned a student or client to work with during the semester and to help you prepare yourself, you will be required to search the web for information about a particular disability. This is a low stakes writing assignment that asks you to integrate you knowledge of technology and critical thinking skills.

1) Information regarding your client’s disability will be provided during clinic training
2) Search at least five web sites to find information about the disability, teaching modifications, and other potential useful information
3) Summarize (including the web site addresses) and attach your Word document containing the information below to the instructor (kstanton@iupui.edu)
4) 2 page minimum

Point Allocation:

o Web/Articles reviewed 5 points
o Must include copies of articles
o Summary of information 45 points
➢ Characteristics of disability
➢ Recommendations for teaching
➢ Recommendations for interaction
➢ Other information

Critical Thinking Skills:
• Reading actively
• Carefully exploring the internet for information
• Evaluating information
• Synthesizing information

Requisite Skills:

  • Email account
  • Computer skills (P200)
  • Ability to move around the internet

Appendix D
Barrier Free Assignment

Why you are doing this assignment:
We will spend a considerable amount of item discussing disability in terms of physical activity and education. However, sensing disability requires feeling what it means to access the world while disabled. While this assignment certainly won’t emulate living with a disability, the assignment may give you a sense of what others experience on a day to day basis. This is a high stakes writing assignment that will require in depth analysis of your experiences. I would like these experiences to be detailed but be sure to make them yours. This assignment will require active participation, active listening, and a synthesis of your experiences.

Technical Expectations:

  • 2 page minimum, typed, 12-point font, standard margins (R/L, top/bottom)
  • APA formatting
  • Page # bottom center
  • 4 hours in a wheelchair, blind-folded, or otherwise impaired
  • activity participation in at least 2 different settings

Requisite skills:
• Ability to use computer
• Critical thinking and integration of knowledge skills
• Knowledge of APA formatting
• Ability to create your own experience

Required Content Points:

  • Fundamentals of your experience
  • Where you went in your 4 hours
  • Why you chose your locations
  • Barriers faced in your journey
  • Differences compared to your typical mode of travel
  • Other pertinent information

25 points

  • General impressions of your experience
  • Improvements you would suggest to enable accessibility
  • How your experiences made you think about physical activity modifications
  • Suggested social, environmental, or educational improvements
  • based upon your experience
  • Other general or more specific information

35 points