Although adaptations needed to participate in physical education activities vary from student to student, many general modifications apply to students’ with similar needs. A few suggestions are listed below.

    Rules, Prompts, & Clues

    • Demonstrate / Modify Activity
    • Use peers as partners
    • Modify time limits
    • Oral Prompt
    • Provide more / different space between students
    • Eliminate outs / strike-outs
    • Allow ball to remain stationary
    • Allow batter to sit in chair
    • Place student with disability near teacher


    • Larger / Lighter Bat
    • Scoops for catching
    • Use of velcro
    • Lower goal / target
    • Larger goal / target
    • Mark positions on playing field
    • Varying balls or equipment (size, weight, color, texture)

    Boundary / Playing Field

    • Decrease distance
    • Use well-defined boundaries
    • Adapt play area (smaller, obstacles removed)
    • Simplify patterns


    • Change locomotor patterns
    • Modify body positions
    • Modify grasps
    • Reduce number of actions
    • Provide frequent rest periods


    • Vary the tempo
    • Lengthen or shorten the time
    • Slow the activity pace
    • Provide frequent rest periods



    For students with disabilities, communication can often be a significant barrier to full inclusion in class. Below are some basic strategies to use when communicating with people with certain categories of disability.


    • Orient persons to the room using specifics like “clock clues”
    • Don’t shout
    • Give verbal cues when conversing
    • Identify yourself and other around you
    • Don’t leave without saying you are doing so


    • Give your whole attention to the person
    • Allow time for person to finish speaking
    • Ask short questions that require short answers, speak normally
    • Speak expressively, use pen / paper if needed
    • Don’t pretend to understand when you do not


    • Don’t move a person’s assistive device without permission
    • Speak at their eye level, but do not kneel
    • When giving directions, consider distance, terrain, or other obstacles


    • Look at the student and speak clearly, slowly, and expressively, with normal tone
    • Get their full attention
    • Use pen and paper
    • Place yourself near a light source
    • Don’t cover your mouth
    • Talk directly to the person who is deaf or hard or hearing, not the interpreter
    • If you are writing a message, do not talk at the same time


    • Allow enough time for the individual to learn and master a new task. Repetition is important
    • Give one direction at a time
    • Be patient and allow extra time for the person to put their thoughts together
    • Give exact instructions


     Helpful Hints


    Many students with disabilities are not able to read or use handouts or materials that are typically given out. Below is information on a variety of alternate formats that might be used.

    Large Print

    • Double spaced, 1 inch margins on all sides
    • Use a bold serif 16 font for text, non-bold serif font for headings
    • Underline instead of italics
    • Print single sided pages
    • Use non-glare paper (pale yellow or buff mate)

    Visual Aids / Lecture

    • Visual aids should be large with bold fonts using bright, high-contrast color
    • Visuals should always be described
    • Provide copies or outline of presentations ahead of time

    Audio / Electronic

    • Have computer disks available for homework or other assignments to be put on disks
    • Save information as a text file
    • Have audio tapes on hand with tape recorder
    • Always orally describe visuals

    Web & Other Media Access

    • Site features such as alt tags (descriptions that pop up when a mouse rolls over an image), large san-serif fonts (non-decorative fonts like Arial, Veranda, and Tahoma) , clear color contrast, and web software testers such as “Bobby Approved” displayed icons assure better accessibility
    • Have written or visual descriptions of audio information
    • Use captions on videos
    • Consult resources such as the National Center on Accessible Media (http://www.ncam.org) or Web Accessibility in Mind (http://www.webaim.org) for further Information