International Symposium for Adapted Physical Education

adapted pe symposium

My name is Justin A. Haegele, I am an assistant professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. I work in the health and physical education program in the Department of Human Movement Sciences, where I conduct research and teacher courses in adapted physical education.

In simple terms, adapted physical education is physical education that is adapted to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. This can occur in integrated school settings with peers without disabilities, self-contained settings with only children with disabilities, or a host of other settings in between.

About the Symposium

I am writing today to tell you about the III Simposio Internacional de Atividade Fisica Adaptada, or the 3rd International Symposium of Adapted Physical Activity, which was held in Brasilia, Brazil on June 5th and 6th, 2018. The event was directed by Dr. Paulo Gutierres Filho of the University of Brasilia, and I am incredibly thankful and honored to have had the opportunity to present at this as well as the two previous symposia. The official website for the workshop can be found here.

This two-day workshop included presentations from three faculty members and four graduate students from universities in the United States that intended to teach Brazilian physical educators about teaching children with disabilities in physical education contexts. Dr. Samuel R. Hodge, Mr. Ayodeji Olugbuyiro, and Mr. Christian Martinez-Rivera represented The Ohio State University, Dr. Luis Columna, Mr. Gianpietro Elias, and Ms. Laura Prieto represented Syracuse University, and I represented Old Dominion University. About 140 physical education teachers and professors from across Brazil joined in the workshop and enjoyed two days of adapted physical education activities. Topics that were covered included assessment in adapted physical education (Hodge), Including Students with Disabilities (Columna), Utilizing the Voices of Children with Disabilities to Inform Instruction (Haegele), and Martial Arts for Children with Disabilities (Elias).

physical education symposium

S&S Worldwide Supports the Event

To support the event, S&S Worldwide donated equipment that was used during the practice-based activity presentations of the workshop. More specifically, two parachutes (one 24’, one 12’) and a set of Frisbees traveled to Brasilia with me from S&S. The Frisbees were used in several activities with the participants, whereas the parachutes were used to show the participants a variety of games that can be played using them that can be inclusive of children with disabilities. For many participants, this was their first time using parachutes as physical education equipment.

At the culmination of the workshop, three lucky participants received the equipment as gifts from S&S. Prior to the convention, I taped index cards to the bottom of the chairs in the audience, and those who were sitting in the pre-selected chairs were the recipients of the equipment prizes. There was a lot of excitement among all of the participants, but it was clear that those who received the equipment were thrilled to be able to use these S&S products in their classes and with their students. Thank you to S&S Worldwide donating the equipment and allowing us to use your items to help teach Brazilian physical educators about teaching children with disabilities in their classes!

adapted PE event

Recipients of the S&S Worldwide equipment prizes

For more information on our department and program visit:

PE team in Brazil

All presenters with symposium director. From Left to Right: Laura Prieto, Gianpietro Elias, Ayodeji Olugbuyiro, Dr. Samuel Hodge, Dr. Luis Columna, Christin Martinez-Rivera, Dr. Justin Haegele, and Dr. Paulo Gutierres Filho.

symposium PE

Faculty presenters. From left to right: Dr. Samuel Hodge, Dr. Luis Columna, Dr. Justin Haegele

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