Physical activity plays an important role in the academic success of students and the quality of life of children, families and communities. To that end, physical education contributes to enhancing physical activity among all students. The practice of Adapted Physical Education (APE) is predicated on the belief that each student has the ability and a desire to move, to be active, and to participate meaningfully with peers. All students, including those with disabilities, should experience a quality physical education program that meets their individual needs and provides them the opportunity to reach their maximum potential. Participation and activity are necessary components of physical, emotional, intellectual and social health. Health affects educational outcomes, behaviors and attitudes, and the attainment of educational and personal goals is dependent on the achievement of good health.
The purpose of this document, the Connecticut Adapted Physical Education Guidelines, is to clarify and underscore the importance of physical education ”in the context of meaningful physical participation within a community of peers” for students with disabilities in a school environment. This guide brings useful information to those responsible for creating high-quality, developmentally appropriate programs for all students in all settings and encourages collaboration in order to fully meet the needs of all students.
The Connecticut Adapted Physical Education Guidelines defines APE best practice for Connecticut schools and is intended for use by adapted physical education teachers and general physical educators, teachers and other specialists, administrators, parents and guardians. Several prominent issues for students needing APE are addressed in this guide including: physical fitness and assessment; obesity in disabled children and adolescents with disabilities; and the role of schools and families in promoting healthy weight and overall well-being. Physical activity, therapeutic recreation and sports participation are also discussed, along with popular and emerging technology in adapted physical education.
I encourage all Connecticut school districts to use the Connecticut Adapted Physical Education Guidelines to ensure that practices are in place for all students, including those with disabilities, to engage in lifelong physical activity.
Commissioner of Education