Terminology Usage: A Case for Clarity

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 Ohio State University
  • | 2 University of Iowa
  • | 3 University of Kentucky
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This article addresses the issue of terminology by discussing the terms adapted physical education, adapted physical recreation, adapted sport, and adapted physical activity. Reasons are presented which suggest that these terms, taken collectively, may best describe movement of a gross motor nature that pertains to individuals with disabilities. A terminology framework is then proposed that is based on both conceptual and practical programmatic considerations within the context of service delivery. This context utilizes all four of the above terms, which are presented within the notion of inclusion. The terms adapted physical education, adapted physical recreation, and adapted sport are conceptualized within the context of adapted physical activity. Within this service delivery context, adapted physical education refers to all curriculum-based instructional settings in educationally oriented environments, adapted physical recreation refers to activity in nonschool contexts, and adapted sport refers to high-level competition by elite performers under the governance of formal sport organizations.

David L. Porretta is with the Adapted Physical Activity Section, 343 Larkins Hall, 337 W. 17th Ave., Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210. John Nesbitt is Professor Emeritus with the Department of Leisure Studies, Seashore Hall, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242. Stan Labanowich is with the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Seaton Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506.

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