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Adapted Physical Education for the Blind and Visually Impaired

By Kathy Letcher
Overbrook School for the Blind

Kathy Letcher, K., Overbrook School for the Blind website, article accessed 3.24.06, http://www.s118134197.onlinehome.us/page.php?ITEM=39

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Physical Education is important for the health and well being of people of all ages. It is enjoyable, builds self- confidence and improves ones health and fitness. Specific sports skills are developed in individual as well as team sports. Students experience a variety of lifetime and recreational activities. Students who are blind or visually impaired also need to experience physical activity. The visually impaired student with additional disabilities should experience a program designed to improve their fitness levels by participating in various games, activities and exercises. Some students may have developed poor circulation, limited lung capacity, poor muscle tone, poor posture, and a tendency to become overweight. A regular physical activity program will improve fitness and give the student confidence to move through space without instructions. It can also develop motor skills needed for daily living and mobility.

The New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired lists specific strategies for students with visual impairments in physical education programs:

Other Conditions:

It is helpful to use your student’s name before giving instructions.

Adaptations: Development of Fundamental Skills and Games

In conclusion, well-planned physical activities that utilize appropriate equipment maximize a person’s abilities and minimize any special challenges they may face. Adapting a game or activity increases the opportunity for fun, skill development and self-confidence. Learning a new sport or recreational activity improves the quality of a person’s life that has a visual impairment and creates a general sense of well being and competence.

Bibliography: The Sports Council and the Royal National Institute for the Blind Looking into PE: Guidelines for teaching PE to Children with a Visual Impairment NJ Commission for the Blind Various pamphlets and handouts Angelo Montagnino, JR, Education Counselor