Recreation, Leisure and Physical Education in an Individualized Education Plan
In West Virginia, approximately 48,300 students have Individualized Education Plans (IEP), the majority are students with disabilities. Despite this large number, only 36 students in West Virginia have a provision for recreation and/or leisure education as a related services in their IEP. This is disappointing since physical education, recreation and leisure activities can provide many benefits for school age children with disabilities. These benefits include developing communication and socialization skills and improving health through physical activity.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), students with disabilities are entitled to receive special education, which includes physical education as well as related services, in order to provide a full educational opportunity for all students with disabilities. Physical education services must be made available to every student. This includes special physical education, adapted physical education, movement education and motor development. It also includes developing skills in aquatics, dance and individual and group games and sports including intramural and lifetime sports.
Related services in an IEP can include nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities like recreation and leisure. These services can be provided at schools or by contracts for services from other public or private agencies or individuals. Recreation can include therapeutic recreation services, recreation programs in schools and community agencies and leisure education.
Leisure activities can be a variety of leisure and recreational interests that reflect personal interests and choices. There are many skills associated with leisure. These include deciding what you would like to do, enjoying home and community activities, playing socially with others, taking turns, choosing not to participate in leisure activities and developing new interests and skills.
WVATS offers information and trainings on physical education, recreation and leisure activities in the IEP for teachers and other professionals in the state. To set up a training, contact Regina Mayolo at 800-841-8436.
In addition, the WVATS Virtual Loan Library has a selection of items for recreation, physical education and leisure activities. All items are available for loan at no cost to West Virginia residents. For a complete list of all items, visit the loan library at vll.cedwvu.org or call 800-841-8436 for assistance.
Try It Out!
The following recreation items are available through the WVATS Virtual Loan Library. Call 800-841-8436 to borrow a device.
Three Wheeled Cruiser
The Three Wheeled Cruiser is a steelframed trike that may help to improve hand/ eye coordination. Its recumbent design reduces shoulder and arm stress. It also features an adjustable frame to accommodate individuals of various sizes as well as caliper hand brakes, padded seat, and safety flag.
BOOM'R Beeper Ball
For children with limited vision, throwing, bouncing, and kicking a ball can be difficult. The BOOM’R Beeper Ball may help children with limited vision get in the game by using loud electronic sounds to provide auditory clues.
Classroom Bowling Set
The Classroom Bowling Set comes with ten 8 ounce bowling pins and a 2 ½ pound polyvinyl bowling ball. A 54 inch square vinyl pin-placement pad with large, easy-to-see numbers is also included to make setting up the pins an easy process.
The Putt-O-Cup Set is a fun way to develop putting skills and teamwork. This set contains six 14 inch diameter rubber putting cups with removable numbered flags. The cups are brightly colored to indicate where to aim. An activity guide that features five group games is also included.
Making Tablets Physically Accessible
Over the past several years, tablets have been on the forefront of the assistive technology scene. With recent developments in technology, tablets can act as AT devices for various disabilities including communication, cognition, vision, hearing, sensory and mobility. While much of this accessibility is due to assistive apps, many tablets also come pre-installed with accessibility features, such as voiceover and text-to-speech.
Although there is an abundant amount of applications for tablets, these devices may not by physically accessible to all people. This is particularly true for individuals who have difficulty using a touch screen. There are several different kinds of accessories available to make tablets physically accessible. Many of these accessories are universal so they can be used with any tablet regardless of the manufacturer.
The following items are available in the WVATS Virtual Loan Library. Call 800-841-8436 to borrow a device.
Adjustable Touch Screen Stylus
The Adjustable Touch Screen Stylus is universally designed to fit any hand and secures in place with Velcro straps. In addition, the length of the stylus is adjustable and can be selected by pulling or pushing the ends of the stylus. This device is useful for anyone who has fine motor problems.
The ArmBot is a mounting system for tablets. This mounting system is unique in that it includes three mounting brackets for ultimate flexibility. These mounting brackets allow the ArmBot to attach to table and desk tops as well as seats and walls. In addition to the mounting methods, the Armbot is modular so it can be shortened to a one arm section, a two arm section or a three arm section.
The Armbot also features a spring-loaded bracket to aid in attaching tablets. To attach tablets, just put one corner of the tablet in the lower cup of the holder then pull the upper cup to fit over the opposite corner.
iPad Wireless Switch Interface
While there are specialized switches made for tablets, the iPad Wireless Switch Interface is unique in that it enables any switch to be compatible with Apple devices. Therefore, this device provides a great deal of flexibility when selecting switches to use. It works through Bluetooth 2.1 and has a range of over 50 feet.
Web Spotlight: AdaptedMind
AdaptedMind is an online learning tool that was created by graduates of Standford, Berkeley, and Harvard. AdaptedMind creates a custom learning experience for children by identifying their individual strengths and weaknesses and delivering exercises that adapts to those needs.
This website offers tailored exercises in math and reading for children in first to sixth grades. As children complete activities, AdaptedMind tracks their progress and the skills that they master. Since the curriculums are individually tailored, children will receive exercises that focus on areas in which they need the most work. Real-time progress reports are also available through the program so teachers and parents can assess learning needs.
For more information or to start a free trial, visit www.adaptedmind.com.