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Introduction to Physical Education for Children With Moderate to Severe Disabilities

This is an excerpt from Physical Education for Children With Moderate to Severe Disabilities by Michelle Grenier & Lauren Lieberman.

Students with moderate to severe disabilities are often the most marginalized, stigmatized, and invisible children in the school setting, particularly within physical education. They may experience separation from their classmates because their teachers are unsure about how to fully include them and because other students may feel uncomfortable or fearful around them. However, the walls created by these perceptions are illusory and need not stand for long, once a common ground of understanding is reached. This insightful and necessary book will help instructors bring students with moderate to severe disabilities into the fold, creating greater visibility and improved educational opportunities.


The pages of this book open the discourse on fostering more inclusive physical education environments for all students. With increased awareness and practical tools and strategies for teaching students with moderate to severe disabilities in physical education, instructors can proactively and intentionally create inclusive communities for students with and without disabilities, in and out of the gym, the classroom, and the school.


The authors who contributed to this textbook are global leaders in advancing inclusion for students with disabilities in physical education, and their work has inspired numerous scholars and students worldwide. They have been at the forefront of putting inclusive physical education, physical activity, and sport into action through research and education. The UNESCO Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities come to life through the knowledge shared in the pages that follow.


This book is essential reading for all educators, including physical education and adapted physical education teachers, as well as parents and students in training to teach physical education. The authors are tearing down the walls of segregation and ignorance that have kept students with moderate to severe disabilities on the sidelines. The terms sport and moderate to severe disabilities may appear to be polar opposites at first glance. Viewing the issue of who is included in physical education through the transformational lens of this book, however, can forever change perceptions. Removing the walls of separation leads to fostering fully inclusive physical education, physical activity, and sporting environments.

Learn more about Physical Education for Children With Moderate to Severe Disabilities.