Guidelines for Adapted Physical Education


For over 35 years, adapted physical educators have played a critical public education role in supporting students with disabilities. During this same time period, parents, administrators, related service providers, teachers, and students have been asking for clarification regarding the specific role of adapted physical education within the public school environment. The purpose of this document, the Connecticut State Department of Education Guidelines for Adapted Physical Education, is to clarify and to underscore the importance of physical education—in the context of meaningful physical participation within a community of peers—for students with disabilities in a school environment. 

This state guidelines document is intended to define the role and responsibilities of adapted physical education and adapted physical educators, and assist APE teachers in assessing, planning and implementing their instructional programs which are based on the Connecticut curriculum framework for physical education and the annual goals of the Individualized Education Program (IEP).  The guidelines provide rationale for providing APE students who are identified as needing individualized and specialized physical education in accordance with federal law and state statute. The guidelines explain the laws and statutes that are the basis for APE. The information is organized with the intention of providing guidance that will properly identify and serve students in the most appropriate physical education program: 

  1. Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Legal Mandates
  3. Defining APE Best Practice for Connecticut Schools
  4. Fact Sheets
  5. Appendixes

These guidelines describe the steps for determining the appropriate setting and instruction for a student in an APE and/or general physical education program.  The document adheres to the intent of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act and its accompanying amendments.