Including Students with Disabilities in Regular Physical Education: Effects on Nondisabled Children

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 University of Virginia
  • | 2 DeKalb County Special Education Association
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The purpose of this study was to measure the impact of including three 6th-grade students with severe disabilities who were given support services into a regular physical education class. Basketball skill improvement in passing, shooting, and dribbling during a 3-1/2-week basketball unit and attitudes toward students with disabilities were compared between a 6th-grade class that included 3 students with severe disabilities (CI) and a 6th-grade class in the same school that did not have any students with disabilities (C2). Results from the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test indicated no differences in skill improvement between the two groups except in dribbling, which favored C2. C1 showed significantly greater pretest scores in general and sport-specific attitudes compared to C2, but there were no differences in gain scores for either general or sport-specific attitude. It was argued that, with proper support services, students with severe disabilities can be included in regular physical education without negatively affecting the program for students without disabilities.

Martin E. Block is with the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Ron Zeman is with the DeKalb County Special Education Association, Cortland, IL 60112.

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