Department of Kinesiology

West Chester University

Dr. Frank Fry
206 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: (610) 436-2260 or 2610
Fax: (610) 436-2860

Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities

The minor in Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities is designed to familiarize and provide WCU students with a depth of knowledge, skills and attitudes about the benefits of physical activity (and how to facilitate those benefits) for people with disabilities. Adapted physical activity is the umbrella term used to encompass exercise, physical education, recreation, dance, sport, fitness activities, and rehabilitation for individuals with disabilities across the lifespan. Today, in school settings, the terminology most widely used is adapted or special physical education. This minor is open to students in any major, but it is especially suited for the interests/career options of students majoring in health and physical education teacher certification and exercise science, students majoring in special education, and students in professional studies.

The purpose of the minor is to enable students to plan, implement, and advocate developmentally appropriate physical activity for people with a variety of physical and cognitive disabilities, in schools, fitness centers, recreation centers, and residential facilities. Practical application is stressed in this minor and students will participate in approximately 200 hours of hands on work. The minor in Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities prepares those in HPE-teacher certification to be eligible to sit for the APENS (Adapted Physical Education National Standards) exam. The minor does not lead to Level II teaching certification since Level II teaching certification in Adapted PE is not available in the tri-state area. Other certifications are offered within various courses.


Other Benefits of Transcript Recognition of the Minor

In a recent survey of 68 school Principals in the 50 mile radius of West Chester University the following information was uncovered:

  • 63 Principals indicate that a candidate for a HPE job in their school would be more competitive if they had completed a minor in Adapted Physical Activity
  • 59 Principals indicate job skills for working with children with disabilities is very important or moderately important for their HPE positions
  • 60 Principals indicate they were not familiar with the National Certification in Adapted Physical Education
  • 56 Principals indicate that a candidate would definitely be more marketable in their school district if the candidate had attained National Certification in APE
  • 10 Principals indicate that a candidate would possibly be more marketable in their school district if the candidate had attained National Certification in APE


The minor in Adapted Physical Activity is open to students regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, or disability. Adaptations for individuals that cannot lift heavy objects, cannot enter swim programs with members of the opposite sex present, and any other differences will be accommodated. Several prerequisites which will lead to a more successful completion of this minor include:

  • the ability to communicate in front of small groups
  • the ability to physically assist people with disabilities who cannot move themselves
  • the ability to sustain a level of fitness in order to “keep up” with clients who have run away
  • the physical strength to defend oneself and others from injurious behavior outbursts of a client

Program Information

Please click here for the most recent program advising sheet with the curriculum options listed:

APE Guidance Sheet

Procedures for Admission

  1. In concert with step 2 below, make an appointment with Dr. Monica Lepore, 306 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center, 610-436-2516, - to discuss the minor. At this time, you will complete a guidance record form in her office. Advisement, at this time, will center around exploration of the field of adapted physical activity, rigor of course work, accumulation of 200 hours of practical service learning work, and discussion of the Adapted Physical Education National Standards exam. Please bring the “Add a Minor” form (Minor Application Form (pdf)) for Dr. Lepore’s signature at this time.
  2. Fill out an official WCU “add a minor’ form obtained from the registrar’s home page under forms. Get your major advisor to sign this and bring it to your major department chair for signature also. After acquiring the signatures, bring the form to the Department of Kinesiology - 206 Sturzebecker HSC - for the the program numbers and the final signature. Submit the form to the registrar for official enrollment.
  3. Pass KIN 285 (or HEA 206 for special education majors) and pass KIN 205 (or KIN 252 for special education majors) before beginning the other core classes listed below.
  4. Enroll in the following classes to complete the minor course work:
    • KIN 253 Adapted Sports, Fitness, and Aquatics (3 credits)
    • KIN 360 Pathology for Adapted Physical Activity (3)
    • KIN 362 Assessment and Programming for Adapted Physical Activity (3 credits)
    • KIN 400 Professional Issues in Adapted Physical Activity (3 credits) (Should not be taken as your last class).

Service Learning and Volunteer Hours
Each student is required to accumulate 200 practical hours working with individuals with disabilities under the guidance of a Certified Adapted Physical Educator. Approximately 2/3rd of these hours will be accumulated during the course work. Additional trips and experiences are available to gather the remaining hours.

Adapted Physical Education National Standards Exam
It is strongly recommended that students in the minor sign up for the APENS exam following completion of all course work. The course work involved in the WCU Adapted Physical Activity minor is based on the 12 national standards tested in the exam.

To complete KIN 400 and this minor, a portfolio of select artifacts from each course must meet minimum standards as target or acceptable. Artifacts such as the IEP from KIN 205, and unit plan adaptations from KIN 362 and other artifact/assignments, must each have a grade of 80% or better in order to successfully complete KIN 400 and the minor requirements, along with a completed APENS exam application.

Possible Experiences Outside the Classroom
Wednesday night special physical activity program: This program is required of all KIN 205 and KIN 252 students - as one on one aides - and of KIN 362 students - as program leaders. Students will be working with individuals - aged 5 to 21 - in small groups from 6 to 7:10 each Wednesday night. Students will be leading adapted physical activities in both the gym and pool settings.

WCU Fitness Center Assistants
This program can be used as volunteer hours for those who wish to develop greater skills while working with the university student population of people with disabilities.

Camp Abilities WCU, New York, Alaska, Arizona, or Puerto Rico
This experience provides the student with an intense 3 to 7 day sports clinic experience with children and teens that are blind and/or visually impaired. Experiences range from one on one coach to group leader or sports specialist. These experiences take place from May to July each year.

AAHPERD-AAPAR Adapted Aquatics Instructor Credential:
During KIN 253, Adapted Sports, Fitness, and Aquatics, students will be involved in the AAHPERD-AAAPAR adapted aquatics (AAI) course materials. If they are a certified YMCA aquatics instructor, or a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, they may take the AAI final exam and possibly be credentialed as an instructor