The Advocate

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Summer 2020


Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Michelle Grenier, PhD, University of New Hampshire

On behalf of the National Consortium for Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities (NCPEID) Board of Directors (BOD), we hope that you, your family, friends, colleagues and students are safe and well, particularly during this time. In this current climate of educational uncertainty, we find NCPEID emerging as a leader in providing educational resources to its membership. As an organization, we will work hard on your behalf to support strong educational and recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

This issue provides a sample of the work we have begun. This past June, NCPEID launched a series of webinars entitled COVID conversations. These conversations brought together educators- both practitioners and faculty members in higher education to provide insights and resources on topics ranging from service provisions to students with disabilities, resources for teaching on-line coursework in APE, and Practicum in adapted and general physical education. More so, the Covid Conversations provided a community platform for sharing resources to meet the educational needs of individuals with disabilities across of range of academic levels.

Also in this issue, Suzanna Dillon and Garth Tymeson provide a description of the needed actions to restore Adapted Physical Education in the Portland, Oregon school system. The collective efforts of our NCPEID colleagues, teachers – both APE and GPE, community members and SHAPE America were successful in reversing the decision to eliminate APE instruction to students with disabilities. The article also provides a list of talking points beneficial to school educators advocating for APE services.

Providing our preservice teachers practicum experiences during COVID is another topic discussed by Melissa Bittner, Barry Lavay and Garth Tymeson. Their unique and creative efforts provide examples of strategies that can be adopted in both adapted and general physical education settings. Thanks to Melissa, Barry and Garth for your work. 
I would also like to recognize our new members of the Board: Nicole Kirk is an assistant professor at the University of Georgia and will be serving as a member-at-large (MAL). Amy Oliver, a PhD student at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI and Mason Sur, a PhD student at Slippery Rock University will be serving as student representatives.

NCPEID continues to advocate for appropriate educational programs for students with disabilities. Likewise, NCPEID leadership will continue to provide educational opportunities that provide support to its membership and to all those working with students with disabilities. As NCPEID’s mission is to promote, stimulate, and encourage legislative mandates, professional preparation, advocacy, research, and professional practice, we look forward to expanding our continued efforts to better serve our membership.

Michelle Grenier, PhD 
President (2020-2022)



Dallas J. Jackson, PhD, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

It has been an honor to serve NCPEID as its 31st President. I thank all Board of Director (BOD) members, as well as, Executive Committee (EC) members whom I served alongside during my tenure as president. I also give my gratitude to past presidents, Drs. Tymeson and Dillon for their support and continued engagement in this great organization. Of course, leaders of this organization often rise from and return to its general membership, and so most importantly I thank all of the members of NCPEID and look forward to continuing to support this organization and the leaders it produces. I am excited to remain engaged, and that my first supportive role as NCPEID Immediate Past President will be to our new President Dr. Michelle Grenier.


Read Full Story: President's Final Message  




APE Teachers Advocate to Retain Staff Positions and Services in Portland School District

Charlie Schultz, APE Teacher, Portland, OR School District; Garth Tymeson, PhD, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; Suzanna Dillon, PhD, Texas Woman's University

Similar to all special education and related services personnel, adapted physical education (APE) teachers perform many roles to provide instruction and enhance results for PK-12 students with disabilities (SWD). Teaching, assessment, consulting, and collaborating with IEP team members consume a significant amount of time in the daily lives of APE professionals. Another important role is advocacy, including the always important tasks of informing and educating others regarding APE requirements and desired outcomes for SWD. It should never be assumed that all school administrators and other decision makers are aware of the physical education requirements for SWD and the benefits derived by these IDEA mandated services. This lesson was vividly learned again in the past few weeks in a large urban school district that proposed eliminating all APE teacher positions.

Read Full Story: APE Teachers Advocate to Retain Staff Positions and Services in Portland School District


Can APE Practicum Still be Effective Due to COVID?

Melissa Bittner, PhD, California State University, Long Beach; Barry Lavay, PhD, California State University, Long Beach; Garth Tymeson, PhD, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The benefits of adapted physical education (APE) practicum in physical education teacher education (PETE) programs have been well documented. Researchers describe these hands-on service-learning program experiences as important components to introductory APE courses in preparing preservice teachers to work with students with various disabilities (Folsom-Meeks et al., 1999; Standal & Rugseth, 2014; Taliaferro & Bulger, 2020). Between 84 to 89% of undergraduate introductory APE courses have a practicum to supplement the in-class lecture (Piletic & Davis, 2010; Taliaferro et al., 2017). These practicum experiences can lead to changes in attitude and increased perceived level of competence in one’s ability to teach students with disabilities (Connolly 1994; Hodge & Jansma, 1999; Hodge, et al., 2002; Hodge, et al., 2003; Taliaferro & Bulger, 2020)

Read Full Story: Can APE Practicum Still be Effective Due to COVID?





Advocacy Efforts

Suzanna Dillon, PhD, Associate Professor, Texas Woman's University

The past few months have been busy the involvement of NCPEID in local advocacy efforts with
the reinstatement of the Portland, Oregon school districts’ decision to eliminate the Adapted Physical Education.Drs. Garth Tymeson and Suzanna Dillon supported Portland School District (PSD) APE teachers as they worked to reverse the PSD School Board’s decision to eliminate the APE department and program (see section below). While, this campaign was successful in getting the APE program reinstated it was moved administratively to Physical Education from Special Education. In situations like this, APE teachers across the country will need to be diligent in reminding their administrators that: 1) APE is still a special education service; 2) their workload/”billable hours” remain a part of Special Education services; and 3) APE services must be included calculations for the local education agency in meeting the mandates of IDEA’s Maintenance of Effort (MOE).

Read Full Story: Advocacy Efforts




Awards Update: Recognition of Outstanding Individuals...

Katie Stanton Nichols, PhD, Indiana University of Pennsylvania University of Indiana

This year the following outstanding individuals were recognized by NCPEID for the efforts on behalf of individuals with disabilities. At this time, NCPEID would like to congratulate Justin Haegele, PhD, Cathy McKay, PhD, Lauren Lieberman, PhD, and Ann-Catherine Sullivan, PhD.


Read Full Story: Recognition of Outstanding Individuals in NCPEID 



NCPEID's COVID Conversations

Michelle Grenier, PhD, University of New Hampshire; Andrea Taliaferro, PhD, West Virginia University

Over the month of June, NCPEID engaged in a series of conversations regarding the impact of the COVID-19 national emergency on our field. The conversations were intended to cover a range of topics that included directed practices from higher education faculty reaching out to students and their families, student teaching and practicum experiences during COVID-19, and instructional mediums in higher education working with preservice teachers. These conversations come in response to inquiries to NCPEID on advocacy, teaching strategies, school programming, higher education guidelines and recommendations and student need from its membership.

Read Full Story: NCPEID's COVID Conversations




The Adapted Project

Andrew Colombo-Dougovito, PhD, North Texas University 

Our profession has a rich and storied history that connects our collective experiences. Yet, this wealth of knowledge exists only in the published works and shared memories of its’ members. Little is known about our profession in the broader public. Without a consensus on how to define adapted physical activity, the field will always be reactive to outside influences. Though dedicated scholars, practitioners, and stakeholders continue to advocate for accessible physical activity spaces and educational experiences for individuals with disabilities—as the incident with the Portland APE program shows us—we need a broader coalition to ensure the sustainability and progression of our field. The ADAPTED Project will collect, document, and share this history. Throughout this project, a living repository will be created that provides a touchstone for the field, but is able to grow as we continue to generate knowledge.

Starting in July, I will begin the ADAPTED Project by collecting interviews from key scholars, practitioners, and stakeholders related to the field of adapted physical activity.

To Learn More About the Project: The Adapted Project

 National Consortium for Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities