PLT4M, Lakeshore Foundation and the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) are proud to announce a new partnership. The purpose of this collaboration is to support physical education teachers and coaches to provide better access and inclusion for students with disabilities.
About Lakeshore Foundation & NCHPAD
Lakeshore Foundation’s activity, research and advocacy initiatives annually serve thousands of children and adults with physical disabilities and chronic health conditions. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Lakeshore’s mission is based on the fact that physical activity is essential for individuals with physical disabilities to lead healthy, active and independent lives.
Lakeshore Foundation’s adapted recreation, sport, fitness and aquatics programs serve people locally, nationally and internationally. Lakeshore houses the CDC-funded National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD). Founded in 1999, NCHPAD is a public health practice and resource center on health promotion for people with disability.
NCHPAD works to create health equity for people with disability by providing individualized information, referral and consultation services to people with disability, families, caregivers, policymakers, community members, health care practitioners and public health professionals through an array of web-based materials and health communication endeavors. NCHPAD features a variety of resources and services, which can benefit all ages and populations that can be found online at www.nchpad.org.
PLT4M exists to empower educators with the tools and resources needed to impact the health and wellness of this nation’s youth in a real way. We aim to be partners with teacher and student alike in pursuit of lifelong physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Student health and wellness are more at risk than ever before. More than 75% of students do not get the recommended 60 minutes of activity per day and suffer the consequences of inactivity. Obesity, anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues are all at elevated rates. The solution is quality physical activity and physical education. Students thrive when they are provided opportunities to pursue lifetime fitness activities. When we invest in students’ physical well-being, they have a better chance of succeeding in all aspects of their lives.
PLT4M offers over 30 unique lifetime fitness modules used in over 1,500 school districts nationwide. With a blend of curriculum and technology, PLT4M empowers students to be engaged and motivated within their personal fitness journey.
PLT4M, Lakeshore Foundation & NCHPAD Working Together
Every student deserves a chance to explore fitness, health, and wellness. But often, students with disabilities are left out or not provided the same opportunities for physical activity as their peers. This can often result from teachers not knowing how to work with students with disabilities in physical education classes. But given the right resources and support, teachers can feel empowered to have physical education classes be a place of inclusion. That is where the new PLT4M, Lakeshore Foundation and NCHPAD partnership will come in!
Support: NCHPAD will provide technical assistance to teachers with questions around access and inclusion in their physical education classes.
Survey: NCHPAD will create a needs assessment survey to be distributed to all PLT4M teachers and coaches to help identify the current greatest needs.
Educate: NCHPAD will be featured on PLT4M’s blog and other content channels to provide best practices and educational materials.
Individuals With Disabilities Education ACT (IDEA) Compliance
Inclusion, or the integration of people with and without disabilities, is supported by legislation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A key component of IDEA addresses the need for individuals to receive services in the least restrictive setting or environment. Physical education programs should be naturally inclusive environments for students with disabilities.
Some students with disabilities can safely and successfully participate in physical education without needing accommodations or support. Some students might benefit from adapted physical education. It is important that every teacher is knowledgeable on strategies to include students with disabilities regardless if the learning occurs in a physical education or adapted physical education setting.
The physical education program needs to fulfill IDEA like any other subject. If and when you are not sure, it is essential to ask and evaluate your existing program and work to meet the needs of all students so that they can safely participate in class on a regular basis.
Commit To Inclusion – We Are All In This Together
Whether you are a first year physical education teacher or a 30-year veteran, you don’t have to go at this alone. Unfortunately, it can often feel like physical education is left to fend for itself and figure things out on its own. When we work together to support inclusion in the world of physical education, we can make a difference.
PLT4M, Lakeshore Foundation and NCHPAD have shared values of partnership and collaboration and are excited to work together in the physical education world.
And we want to hear from you! Reach out with any questions, comments, or feedback so we can continue to create a more equitable and inclusive fitness world.
Does PLT4M have adapted physical education programs?
PLT4M has over 30 unique fitness education curriculum modules that can be adapted for individual students with disabilities. However, adapted physical education is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, physical education teachers must work with appropriate school team members to identify individual needs and accommodations for students with disabilities.
PLT4M does have an exercise library of over 3,000 videos that can help to support the accommodations and modifications necessary for students with disabilities. In addition, if PLT4M does not have the video needed, let us know, and we can work to create them. Or, any teacher or coach can add their own videos they have created or found from other resources like NCHPAD.
What is the difference between an adapted physical class and adapting a physical education class?
Adapted physical education is specially designed instruction provided to students who are unable to participate in a regular physical education class, even with modifications, accommodations or supplementary aids and services. Adapted physical education provides opportunities for students with disabilities to develop physical and motor skills, fundamental motor skills and skills for individual and group games and sports.
It is important to note that even if you had an adapted physical education class, you will still have to adapt general physical education for some students with various degree of skill mastering. Please remember that students with disabilities might require different accommodations and should not be seen as one group that all require the same modifications. If you are not sure what modifications are needed, consult with your team and school, and reach out to NCHPAD for additional information.