IDEA and Section 504 are the laws that require children and youth with disabilities have access to physical education and extracurricular activities.
In general, children should participate in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. For children with disabilities, the recommendation is to work with your health care partner to determine an appropriate number of minutes per day of physical activity.
The suggestions to increase opportunities are the following:
- make sure that the activity is accessible for all children with disabilities.
- use specialized equipment or modify equipment if necessary
- educate personnel on adapting games and activities
- encourage an inclusive teaching style
- assess progress on an individual basis
- utilize staff with strong behavior management skills
- use a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach for the physical education curriculum
Reference: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Office of Special Education Programs, Creating Equal Opportunities for Children and Youth with Disabilities to Participate in Physical Education and Extracurricular Athletics, Washington, D.C., 2011.