Physical Educators’ Perceptions and Experiences of Teaching Students With Mobility Disabilities

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly

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Jacob BenzingerIndiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA

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Jeff R. CraneSchool of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada

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Angela M. CoppolaIndiana University Kokomo, Kokomo, IN, USA

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David J. HancockSchool of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5586-7291*
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Schools can support physical education (PE) among students with mobility disabilities (SMDs). However, previous research has indicated that people and resources in the school environment have served as facilitators and barriers to engaging SMDs in PE. Thus, the purpose of this pragmatic, qualitative study was to explore physical educators’ perceptions and experiences of teaching SMDs to learn how to develop a PE environment supportive of SMDs. Eleven K-8 PE teachers who taught SMDs engaged in semistructured interviews. A thematic analysis revealed three themes describing facilitators and barriers of a supportive PE environment for SMDs: (a) teacher planning, (b) students in the PE environment, and (c) resources and support. These findings provide context to PE environments for SMDs and highlight a need for increased communication and collaboration with students with or without mobility disabilities, training or professional development for PE teachers to develop skills for adapted PE, and financial and personnel support.

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