Transition of Students with Disabilities into Community Recreation: The Role of the Adapted Physical Educator

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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  • 1 Special Olympics International
  • 2 University of Virginia
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The mission of education is to prepare all students with and without disabilities for adult life in the community. Recent amendments to Public Law 94-142 now require transition services, which promote movement from school to postschool activities, for all students with disabilities to begin as early as age 14 and to be included in the student’s IEP. Most special education programs provide vocational, domestic, and community independent living skills training. However, the same cannot be said for lifelong sport and fitness training. A life-skills model for teaching sport and fitness skills that are chronologically age appropriate, functional, and community based is preferred to the traditional developmental approach for teaching adapted physical education. The life-skills model for teaching adapted physical education changes the setting–from school sport facilities to community sport and recreation facilities–in which adapted physical education classes are conducted. It also expands the role of the adapted physical educator from direct service provider to include transition team member, consultant to regular physical education and community sport and recreation agencies, trainer of support personnel, and environmental analyst.

Patricia L. Krebs is with Special Olympics International, 1350 New York Ave., N.W., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Martin E. Block is with the Dept. of Human Services, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

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