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August/September 2006 Vol. 8 No. 7

I am writing to you from my hotel room in Orlando, FL., while I prepare to be a part of the single largest democratic convention in the USA. The National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly has ascended on Florida. Imagine 10,000 teachers making decisions as a collective body - WOW!

I am hoping to get a better update as to the status of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESEA (also known as No Child Left Behind) during the Special Education caucuses. Another important piece of legislation for students with special needs is I.D.E.A. The word on the street is that the rules and regulations for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) will be released from the Department of Education sometime in late August or early September. These regulations will shape the intent of the law, which ultimately the states will have to adhere to and implement, hopefully to the betterment of students with disabilities.

Talk with your special education administrators this fall about changes in the law and how they will affect your students with special needs. Some states, as a result of new federal legislation such as ESEA, are working hard to insure that physical educators are "highly qualified" to serve students with disabilities. Indiana is a state leading the way by infusing both NASPE and Adapted Physical Education National Standards (APENS) in developing criteria for beginning teacher competencies. Read more about their infused standards on the NCPERID website.

I don't know about you, but I love preparing for another school year! There is something about the rhythm of a completed school year, and looking forward to and planning for great things the following year! I ask myself this question every day, "Did what I teach today affect student learning?" As I get closer to a new school year I take a deeper and more comprehensive look at curriculum, assessments used, peer tutoring, and paraprofessional training and equipment, which supports my instruction. Then I ask myself the question, "With supported data that I have taken on students, did what I teach this last school year affect student learning?"

In this back-to-school section, consider taking a comprehensive look at assessment procedures, consider workshops/conventions to further your understanding of individual with disabilities, determine equipment purchases, curricular decisions, and peer tutor/paraprofessional training as you begin to plan for this upcoming school year. Best wishes for a wonderful start to a fantastic school year of exceptional student improvement and learning!

Kathy Brinker
Adapted Section Editor

Speed Stacks
  Conference & Workshop

Midwest Adapted Physical Activity Conference
November 18, 2006
Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, Illinois

This Midwest District sponsored event will run following the IAHPERD (Illinois) Convention being held on November 16th and 17th. The Illinois Coalition of Adapted Physical Educators invites you to "come to Illinois" and be part of the excellent sessions being provided during the IAHPERD convention. Some of the sessions will include (but not limited to): Autism/PDD, Fitness for individuals with Developmental Disabilities, Assessment in Adapted Physical Education, Paraprofessionals in PE, Cycling Instruction, and Extend rubrics.

Dr. Lavay, this year's keynote will be speaking on two separate topics, both at the IAHPERD convention and the Midwest workshop. You won't want to miss these three jam packed days of adapted sessions! Whether you are a standard physical educator, or an adapted physical educator, there is something for everyone. Register for the IAHPERD convention beginning in late August, and/or register for the Midwest workshop.

Keynote: Dr. Barry Lavay
Dr. Barry Lavay is a professor of the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Long Beach, where his primary responsibility is to train students to teach physical education to individuals with disabilities. Dr. Lavay's scholarship interests are in the areas of behavior management, pedagogy, and physical fitness testing and programming for individuals with disabilities. He is the co-author of two textbooks, Positive Behavior Management in Physical Activity Settings (2nd edition, 2006), and Physical Activity for Individuals with Mental Retardation: Infancy through Adulthood.

Toledo  PE Supply
 Curriculum & Assessment


Will what I teach today affect healthy lifetime decisions for my students? Check out these grim statistics. We as physical educators have to do better at educating for a lifetime. This has a fancy name; transition planning. Because it often takes longer for our students with special needs to acquire skills, we need to be very intentional about curriculum. Some questions that may guide your decision making are:

Does what I am teaching this student have a high degree of probability of being followed through in a community setting for this student after graduation? Does my curriculum involve choice for students? Have I taught this student all the steps to being successful and independent in this activity outside of school?

The ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens) has a great link for considerations in integrating students into community environments - the Community Integration Report.


Looking for a comprehensive list of assessments that can be used for students with disabilities? PE central has a great link; Many manufacturers of assessments have a preview period to assure that you have the right tool. Consider previewing one of these assessment protocols to better meet the needs of students with disabilities.

Elementary Physical Education Teaching & Assessment - A Practical Guide
This guide is designed to make the assessment process not only easier but also more manageable. Assessment becomes not a burden in a teacher’s life but an essential teaching tool that assists students in learning what they need to learn - and indeed can motivate and challenge them to take charge of their learning. - source: Human Kinetics

This is a website dedicated to Wheelchair Sports Videos. There are free wheelchair sports videos of:

* Wheelchair rugby
* Wheelchair paragliding
* Wheelchair skateboarding
* Wheelchair Tennis
* and much more

If you like this website, please give it a link so that others can find it:

Click Here: and/or post in the forum.


Blaze Sports

On Saturday, November 18th, the Midwest District AAHPERD will be hosting a one-day workshop focusing on sports and activities for individuals with physical and sensory impairments. Blaze sports of America, and therapeutic recreation specialists from the Northern Illinois area, will be hosting sessions on wheelchair basketball, sit volleyball and other net activities, class 1 and 2 activities such as boccia, slalom, field events for track, and other activities for individuals with severe impairments.

There will also be sessions on seating positioning for individuals in chairs while participating in sport. You will have the opportunity to meet, observe, and jump in a sport wheelchairs, and play alongside elite athletes. After the introduction of the activities by athletes and therapeutic recreation specialists from the Northern Illinois area, adapted physical education teachers from the Midwest will demonstrate, and explain, adaptations needed to include students with a variety of disabilities (including individuals with severe disabilities) in physical education activities.

Checklists and rubrics will be available to take back to your classroom to begin implementing with your students right away!


Equipment Purchasing: Consider, as you begin a new school year, ordering equipment which will help meet the needs of your students with special needs. Some considerations when ordering equipment:

Students with Autism require a variety of textures, shapes, and colors. Usually one sensory modality at a time. Many are visual learners. Consider ordering fuzzy bean bags, balls that light up, equipment that jingles. Don't order large quantities on the first go around. Buy one or two, and see what type of equipment your students gravitate towards. Ask the student's classroom teacher or parent if they have a favorite color.
Students with severe physical disabilities often will require equipment that is lightweight, and can change shape when grasped and manipulated. Also consider equipment that can be suspended from a string for ball handling activities if they are unable to catch.

Need trikes/bikes for students with special needs. Many parts of the country have retired engineers putting together adaptive bikes for kids in their community. Contact your local chapter of telecom pioneers.

If you require specialty equipment for adapted physical education, try this online catalog - Access to Recreation. Equipment that has been modified for standard physical education settings can be found at Abilitations (sportime catalog for special needs equipment). Flaghouse has major sections of special needs equipment.

If you need assistance from grants and local charity/ service organizations to purchase equipment, consider purchasing Physical Educators' Guide to Successful Grant Writing by Louis Bowers. You will find many service organizations in your local that would be interested in assisting you in purchasing equipment for students with special needs. This publication can be purchased in the AAHPERD bookstore.

  Checking Medical Status

Before school starts is a great time to look through medical records and get a list from the nurse. Even though you have had a student the previous year, you want to pay particular attention to changes in medication and dosages. Many medications now are photosensitive, meaning that students can get sunburned in a short period of time.

Another major issue for physical educators is latex allergies. As the number of students with latex allergies continues to grow, so does the discussion with physical educators as to how to keep students with latex allergies safe. Many physical educators have insisted that major manufacturers of sporting goods equipment place markings in their catalogs regarding latex free equipment. Some of the manufacturers complied, until recently, when the latex free markings were replaced with web site information regarding latex allergies. Foreign markets produce much of the equipment and give little assurance that the equipment is in fact "latex free." These, in addition to lawsuits regarding equipment, have left many wondering what to do.

The following are some best practices to assist you in helping keep students safe. Please understand that this is not an all-inclusive list, and that your local school policies will supercede all these suggestions. Please consult with your local school nurse when a student with a known latex allergy is scheduled in your classes.

Make latex free gloves and latex free band aids available in your physical education setting.
If you find markings in catalogs of latex free materials, save the catalog.
Mark the equipment with a symbol or wording to designate latex free.
Investigate further information as to latex allergies. A good link to check out is Latex Allergy Links.
Investigate what medical interventions are recommended if a student begins to have an allergic reaction (i.e. epi pen).
Keep latex-free equipment separate from other equipment while storing.


Assume that because you have covered a piece of latex equipment with fabric (i.e. Balzac cover for balloons) that it is now latex free.
Use highly latex equipment (such as balloons) in the same room as a student with a latex allergy.


  Chris Stopka   Phillip Conatser
  Brent Hardin   Kathy Brinker
 Featured Website
Personal Safety & Health: How to help kids. Give them the best child safety and health information. This information is provided by a police officer. With the right information, there is a lot you can do to dramatically improve your children's security and health by taking simple, but very important steps. Parents and teachers possess the ability and power to effectively train children to become incredibly safe, live healthy lifestyles, and help your children achieve everything you want for them in their lives.

This is a site you should really take time to look through and utilize. LOTS of great information! I could not figure out how to run across this page from the left-hand menu, but be sure to carefully read this page: How To Teach Your Kids About Safety Without Scaring Them Or Stealing Away Their Innocence.

A Teacher's Guide to Including Students with Disabilities in General Physical Education - This revised version has more strategies and ideas on how to include students with disabilities of all ages in general physical education classes. To be found at, but you can also find a lengthy description of the book at New Horizons for Learning.

Guidelines for School and Community Programs to Promote Lifelong Physical Activity Among Young People - These guidelines identify strategies most likely to be effective in helping young people adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle. The guidelines were developed by CDC in collaboration with experts from other federal agencies, state agencies, universities, national organizations, and professional associations. - source: CDC

Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool. The Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT) will help school districts conduct a clear, complete, and consistent analysis of written physical education curricula, based upon national physical education standards. The PECAT is customizable to include local standards. The results from the analysis can help school districts enhance existing curricula, develop their own curricula, or select a published curriculum, for the delivery of quality physical education in schools. - source: CDC

Moving to Inclusion - "Active living through physical education: maximizing opportunities for students with a disability" has been developed to help you include students with a disability in your school's physical education program.

Understanding and Responding to Children's Needs in Inclusive Classrooms - a 114 page downloadable guide for teachers.

Inclusive Creative Movement and Dance - Inclusive Creative Movement and Dance helps teachers guide students with diverse abilities to express their feelings and ideas through creative movement experiences involving dance learning, dance making, and dance sharing. Of equal value to new and veteran teachers, this book provides in-depth coverage of inclusive dance instruction, including teaching strategies, practical learning experiences, movement problems for students to solve, and more. - Human Kinetics

  Asthma & Allergies

Looking Out for Latex - As students with medical conditions are mainstreamed into classrooms across the nation, the possibility of a student with a latex allergy, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, that could cause a life-threatening situation increases. In my own classroom, a student who was unaware she was latex sensitive experienced a severe Type 1 allergic reaction to rubber bands during an activity. As a result of this experience, I realized that as a teacher, I needed to know more about this condition. I'd like to share the information I have discovered with colleagues who will undoubtedly interact with students who have latex allergies. Read the rest.

Latex Allergy - This article, as well as the article above, is well worth reading for it provides some extremely good information on latex, the body's reaction against latex, and how to manage and treat allergies caused by this product. See also the movie provided at MedlinePlus.

What to Do When Your Student Has Asthma - Close to five million children under the age of 18 in the U.S. have asthma. Asthma may occur at any age and is often diagnosed in young children. As a teacher, finding out as much as you can about asthma is extremely important.

CHASE - Coalition of Health for Asthmatics in Sports & Exercise. CHASE, the Coalition of Health for Asthmatics in Sports & Exercise, is an alliance of asthma education advocates, athletic directors, certified athletic trainers, doctors of osteopathy, educators, parents of asthmatics, physicians, nurses, and school administrators concerned with the undiagnosed and under treated student asthmatic athlete.


Games for Children with Inclusive Focus On Special Needs

FREE ONLINE Games, activities, and tools to educate and entertain children. All the games have an inclusive focus on children with special needs - particularly autism.

The games target various skills like social/play, imitation, sorting/differentiation, visual/auditory memory, math, emotions, eye contact, mouse control, and so on.

Best New Games: 77 Games and 7 Trust Activities for All Ages and Abilities - Best New Games is the only book available that presents New Games. These cooperative, interactive games are for groups of all ages and abilities - and they're meant to be played just for fun.

Pantomime - Mime some favorite activities. Using pantomime, children can "talk" without speaking.

Home Olympics - Organize simple athletic events. Help your children create their own Home Olympics! Try to hold your event outside, or put mats on the floor indoors. Remind children that the object is not to win, but to have FUN!

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