The Advocate



In this Issue: Welcome, Summer Conference, NCPEID recognizes its members, APE Collaborative, Research, Remembering Claudine Sherrill, 2020 Annual Report, and more...  


Message from the President 

Michelle Grenier, Ph.D., CAPE 

It Takes A Village  

For all of us, this past year has been memorable for many reasons, both positive and negative. Each of us has our own experiences related to COVID and its impact on our professional and personal lives. We will walk away from these past twelve months with many lessons learned and a renewed appreciation for those who have positively contributed to our lives.  

 As NCPEID’s president, I learned that indeed, it does take a village to keep the organization thriving and strong. I am eternally grateful to the wisdom and calm presence of NCPEID’s former past president, Dallas Jackson, who always keep our Board of Directors meetings on track and moving forward. It also took a village to successfully run our annual conference virtually. With over 100 attendees and a dynamic line-up of presenters, NCPEID made significant strides in achieving our mission. Thanks to the conference team that included our former vice president Andrea Taliaferro and her dedicated team of Ali Brian, Amanda Young, Josie Blagrave, and Amy Oliver, our NCPEID conference was a smashing success! 

The ongoing social media posts of the membership team that includes Melissa Bittner, Amanda Young, and Scott McNamara, Ben Miedema, and Heidi Ambrosius continue to impress me with their creative and informative updates on current NCPEID events. Our treasurer and president-elect, Cindy Piletic, continues to keep us honest and true to our vision as educators. Thank you Cindy. And to Erin Siebert, our secretary, many thanks for your organizational and recording skills.

 This past year NCPEID hosted its first virtual research poster session under the guidance of Ron Davis, our research chair, and Andrew Colombo-Dougovito. Thanks to your ingenuity for the conference design and organization. Finally, thanks to the rest of our village, including T. Nicole Kirk for chairing the nominations and elections committee, Emily Gilbert for chairing the awards committee, Tim Davis for his ongoing work with the APENS Committee, and Suzanna Dillon and her team for advancing NCPEID’s advocacy agenda. Indeed, NCPEID is truly fortunate to have such talented and dedicated “citizens” of our village!


This issue of the Advocate provides evidence of our efforts to support our membership. A priority of NCPEID is advocacy and this issue of the Advocate provides several documents that can be used by educators and administrators to support students with disabilities. Also in this issue, Ron Davis, Cindy Piletic, and Linda Hilgenbrink share their experiences "Coming Together" as part of our summer conference. As a young scholar, Andy Colombo-Dougovito provides a synopsis of research. This issue highlights NCPEID's awardees, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the field. 

NCPEID continues to advocate for appropriate educational programs for individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers, and the educators who serve them. Likewise, NCPEID leadership will continue to support its members and advocate for legislative actions, professional preparation, and practice in higher education and at the K-12 level. NCPEID will introduce the first APE collaborative coming Thursday, September 30th at 2pm EST. At this time, I would like to welcome our new Executive Committee team, Cindy Piletic as president-elect, Ali Brian as vice-president, and Adam Pennell as interim treasurer. Our new Board of Director's members includes Andrea Taliaferro and Melissa Bittnew as Members at Large, Ann-Catherine Sullivan as the Research Consortium Chair, Heather Katz as our student representative, and Myung Ha (Mason) Sur as our website manager. Welcome new committee members! If you are not a current member, please consider joining today. Be well, remain optimistic, and stay healthy. 

Michelle Grenier, Ph.D., CAPE

President (2020-2022)



Thanks to Garth Tymeson for his ongoing advocacy work.  

This letter is in response from the Office of Special Education to Garth Tymeson's request for clarification on the provision of physical education including adapted physical education (APE), to children with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Specifically, Garth asked that OSEP clarify “issues including the substitution or replacement of required physical education services by related services such as physical or occupational therapy for children with disabilities in special education, ages 3-21, and the qualifications/licensure required to teach specially designed physical education included in the [individualized education program (IEP)] IEP.” READ MORE...


This document provides information for school administrators and Special Education (CSE) chairs about physical education for students with disabilities. All special education service delivery is a collaborative team effort and physical education is a required part of these special education services. Topics in this paper include Legal Requirements, Physical Education and the IEP team, Qualified Teachers, and AssessmentsREAD MORE...

NCPEID's Additional Position Paper to Support Physical Education 

In this position paper developed by the Advocacy Committee, NCPEID reinforces the need for physical education services that: a) are appropriate to meet the unique learning needs of children with disabilities, including “special physical education, adapted physical education, movement education, and motor development” (34 C.F.R.300.39(b)(2)), b) address the psychomotor, cognitive, and affective learning outcomes of physical education, and c) are provided by appropriately credentialed physical educators. READ MORE...


"Coming Together"

 Ron Davis, Ph.D-Texas Woman's University; Cindy Piletic, Ph.D-Western Illinois University Linda Hilldenbrink, Ph.D-Denton Public Schools

 Coming Together was the title of the 2021 conference of the National Consortium for Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities (NCPEID). This three-day conference hosted remarkable, informative, and scholarly presentations by many professionals across an incredible agenda from July 12 – 14thREAD MORE...



NCPEID APE Collaborative

Melissa Bittner, PhD-CSU, Long Beach

 NEW! For the 2021-22 academic year, the National Consortium for Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities is launching the NCPEID Adapted Physical Education Collaborative-designed to be a monthly meeting to discuss and share various topics of interest in the field of APE.

Tentative Schedules for the Collaboratives: (one hour)

  • 15 minute presentation on pedagogy
  • 15 minute presentation on research
  • 10 minutes for Q&A with speakers
  • 10 minute breakout room to discuss important topics in the field of APE (moderated by NCPEID Membership Subcommittee)
  • 10 minute whole group discussion

 The date/time of each NCPEID APE Collaborative will vary each month. The NCPEID APE Collaborative will be broadcast via Zoom and Facebook Live and recorded for an upcoming edition of the What’s New in APE podcast. 

The first NCPEID APE Collaborative will be Thursday, September 30 @ 11am PST; 1pm CT; 2pm EST. The collaborative will feature Dr. Garth Tymeson (Emeritus Professor UW- LaCrosse) who will speak on the Dear Colleague Letter indicating related services (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy) can not be substituted for APE.  Dr. Ali Brian (Associate Professor, University of South Carolina) will follow with a discussion on research tips for improving manuscripts.  READ MORE...

Zoom Link to NCPEID APE Collaborative: 




Andrew M. Colombo-Dougovito, PhD, CAPE-University of North Texas

 In 1992, Mike Oliver argued that research has failed disabled people in at least three ways; namely, research has failed to (1) accurately capture and reflect the experience of disability from the perspective of disabled people themselves; (2) provide information that has been useful to the policymaking process and has contributed little to improving the material conditions under which disabled people live; and (3) acknowledge the struggles of disabled people themselves and to recognize that disability is not simply a medical or welfare issue, but a political one. In the years since research has made little progress to authentically include disabled people as coequals in the knowledge and policy generating process that impact them greatest—this failure extends to the field of adapted physical activity.

 Participatory research methods may provide but one piece of the complex puzzle that is needed to better impact the health of disabled people. Indeed, “at the nucleus of [participatory methods] is the belief that etiologic and intervention research that incorporates community cultural values and ways of knowing is critical for improving quality of life and reducing health disparities (Lucero et al., 2018, p. 56)”. In a way, participatory research methods are a meta-methodology (Foth & Axup, 2006) with the ability to be used within existing research paradigms and practices. Tying participatory methods together are four core principles, as suggested by Stack & McDonald (2014): (1) equality between researchers and stakeholders; (2) an environment that fosters co-learning that addresses stakeholder concerns; (3) a process that produces empowered stakeholders; and (4) there is a demonstrated balance between research and communities needs. Truly, as Cornwall & Jewkes (1995) suggest, the starkest difference between participatory and conventional methods resides in “who defines the research problems and who analyses, generates, represents, owns and acts on, the information that is sought.”

Though daunting at first, and rarely incentivized, participatory methods can serve to improve short-term and long-term research outcomes, as well as increase the ability of the community to maintain programs or build on successes in the absence of researchers and their funding. If you are participatory curious, you can find more information from Participate (, the Institute of Development Studies (, or from Part 2 of the NIH Toolkit for Overcoming Barriers to Implementation in Global Health ( Yet, ultimately, the success of these methods are not rooted solely in the actions of the researchers but in their attitudes.



Melissa Bittner, PhD-CSU, Long Beach

California Assessment Update 

In February 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2020-2021 budget suggested suspending the state-mandated physical fitness test for three years due to concerns over bullying and test discrimination against gender nonbinary students and students with disabilities. In California, (Education Code Section 60800) students in grades 5th, 7th, and 9th perform the physical performance test designated by the State Board of Education (i.e., FitnessGram®). During this time, California’s goal is to rethink how fitness assessments are conducted and determine what is best for ALL students. To address these concerns, the CAHPERD Assessment Task Force has been appointed, consisting of professionals with a variety of expertise in health and physical education, to determine best assessment practices where all students feel included and educated regarding health-related fitness. The Assessment Task Force is currently collecting California teacher data which will be reported in the future. One potential option being explored through communications with Cooper Institute is “merging” FitnessGram with the Brockport Physical Fitness Test (BPFT), an inclusive assessment for students with disabilities.  




We've recently added ASK AN EXPERT as a function to our website. Please encourage colleagues to reach out to NCPEID with any questions they may have. To read a recent example, READ MORE...


Emily Gilbert, PhD., SUNY-Cortland

 There are many NCPEID members making noteworthy contributions to the profession.  In this issue, we recognize Drs. Sam Hodge, Ali Brian, Scott McNamara and Dallas Jackson for their excellent work advancing NCPEID's mission. READ MORE...


It is with great sadness that we report Dr. Claudine Sherrill, also known by many as the “Mother of Adapted Physical Activity,” unexpectedly passed away on May 8, 2020. READ MORE...

  Dear NCPEID Colleagues and Friends, 

After months of work, The Diversity in Aquatics (IA) Adapted Aquatics Council collaborating with the  DIA Research Council, is ready for you to fill out the Aquatics and Individuals with Disabilities Survey and distribute it to many others in your circle!
If you are a person with a disability, or an aquatics professional, or a family member of a person with a disability or a Deaf Person, please give us your opinions! If you can give us your opinions by September 3, 2021, that would be great! If you don’t get to it by then, the link will stay active through September!
If you need the survey in American Sign Language, please contact Knolan Rawlins at [email protected] . 


Please see the attached report for a summary of NCPEID's 2020 business report. READ MORE... 



 National Consortium for Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities