Foundation Releases New Inclusive PE Resources

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Washington, D.C. – December 12, 2018 – The National Fitness Foundation (NFF), in partnership with Health Resources in Action (Boston, MA), are pleased to announce the launch of new resources to promote inclusive physical and fitness education. These resources aim to support physical education teachers nationwide to empower ALL students to be fit for life.

These new, free resources include a video and supporting web presentation, and were developed through an Inclusive Health Innovation Grant from Special Olympics International.

Youth with disabilities are 4.5 times less active than youth without disabilities.[1] Some of the most commonly reported barriers to participation in the U.S. include the lack of appropriate and inclusive opportunities and facilities to be active, and the fear of being injured or stigmatized.[2],[3],[4] Yet, participation in regular physical activity improves overall well-being and can reduce the disproportionate burden of chronic disease among individuals with disabilities, and particularly, intellectual disabilities. By promoting learning environments where students with disabilities are engaging with their peers without disabilities, inclusive physical education approaches can enable all students to access and participate in the physical education curriculum in meaningful ways.

The video, featuring a Unified Wellness Program at Dover High School in Dover, NH, highlights strategies to engage students with intellectual disabilities in physical education.  The accompanying presentation, Supporting All Students to be Fit for Life: Inclusive approaches to physical education, provides considerations and practical strategies to promote an inclusive physical education classroom.   

The resources support the NFF’s work to empower all students to be fit for life via the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. They can be accessed via the program’s Resource Library.

About the National Fitness Foundation  

The National Fitness Foundation is the only congressionally chartered nonprofit focused on health and fitness. Established in 2010 as the official charity of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, the Foundation develops public-private partnerships and raises capital to accelerate solutions that prepare children for a lifetime of health & fitness through youth sports. The Foundation also serves as the managing partner of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, the nation’s model for fitness education in schools. 

About Health Resources in Action

Health Resources in Action (HRiA) is a non-profit, full-service consulting organization that develops, implements, and evaluates population health and social change solutions. HRiA works with diverse clients who share a vision of healthier communities. Consulting services include research and evaluation, capacity building, policy development, communications and marketing, planning, and grant making. HRiA is based in Boston, MA, with a national presence through satellite offices and a range of federal, state, and regional projects.

[1] The Aspen Institute – Project Play. Physical Literacy in the United State: A Model, Strategic Plan, and Call to Action.

[2] Shields N, Synnot AJ, and Barr M. Perceived barriers and facilitators to physical activity for children with disability: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med. 2012;46:989–997.

[3] King G, Law M, King S, Rosenbaum P, Kertoy MK, Young NL. A conceptual model of the factors affecting the recreation and leisure participation of children with disabilities. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2003;23(1):63-90.

[4] Rimmer JA and Rowland JL. Physical activity for youth with disabilities: A critical need in an underserved population. Developmental Neurorehabilitation. 2008;11(2): 141-148.