The concept of least restrictive environments (LRE), originally conceived by Deno (1970) and Reynolds (1962) to advocate for a range of special education placements for children with disabilities, has become synonymous with a continuum of physical education placement options for students with disabilities. Many models have been presented over the years. Options range from full-time regular physical education in a regular school to full-time adapted physical education in a special school or facility, with various placement options in between. The emphasis of these models is on varying the placement to meet the needs of the student with disabilities. Taylor (1988) has identified several flaws to the concept of LRE placement options. In addition, many special education professionals advocate placing all students with disabilities in regular education with varying levels of support (e.g., Stainback & Stainback, 1990). This paper discusses an alternative to the traditional continuum of LRE placement options. This new model presents a continuum of support which emphasizes how much and what type of assistance is provided to a particular student with disabilities that will enable him/her to succeed in regular physical education.
Martin E. Block and Patricia L. Krebs
Patricia L. Krebs and Martin E. Block
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.