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0-01: An inclusive, respectful school climate
0-14: Qualifications of school health staff
4-15: Identification of health/safety needs prior to school entry
4-20: Individualized health services plans
6-01: Accessible school facilities and programs
7-01: Healthy and safe social environment
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Bright Futures
Resources to promote healthy behaviors, reduce morbidity and mortality, develop partnerships between health professionals, families, and communities, and improve child health outcomes
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - "School Health Index for Physical Activity and Healthy Eating: A Self Assessment & Planning Guide"
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Division of Adolescent and School Health
Includes youth risk behavior surveillance and guidelines for school health programs.
Disabled Sports USA
For information on daily air quality across the United States.
National Association for Sport and Physical Education
The "store" includes published national guidelines.
National Sports Center for the Disabled
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3-03 - Physical activity and special needs

Establish and enforce policies and practices that enable students with disabilities and other special health care needs to participate fully and safely in physical education and other school physical activity programs.


Students with disabilities need to experience the same quality of physical education and be offered equivalent opportunities for physical activity that are offered to other students, but with modifications to meet their needs. These students require physical activities that are designed to increase physical endurance, strength, and skills.


Each student with a special health care need or disability requires an assessment of how the disability or special health care need will impact participation in any given activity. This includes assessments of cognitive abilities and social skills. Physical activity and physical education programs must be tailored to meet each student's specific disability and goals and allow them to experience success.

Based on need, physical activity for students with disabilities may be delivered in a regular physical education class or in an adapted physical education class. Sometimes specialized instruction is required for students with disabilities in order to deal effectively with special learning styles and modes of communication. In addition, protective equipment, safety gear, and surfaces may require modifications to accommodate students. Teachers with national certification for adapted physical education are best equipped to design these programs. Standards from the National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation (37) guide physical educators on accommodating the needs of students with disabilities. Resources are also available to guide community and school health professionals on specific cautions for athletic participation of students with cardiac disorders, neurological problems, cystic fibrosis, Down Syndrome, and other conditions (6, 41, 48).


American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness. Medical Conditions Affecting Sports Participation. Pediatrics 2001;107:1205-1209.

Block ME. A Teacher's Guide to Including Students With Disabilities in Regular Physical Education. Baltimore, MD: Brookes; 1994.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Promoting Better Health for Young People Through Physical Activity and Sports: A Report to the President From the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Education; Fall 2000.

National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Including Students With Disabilities in Physical Education. Reston, VA: National Association for Sport and Physical Education; 1995.

National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities. Adapted physical education national standards. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1995.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Asthma and Physical Activity in the School: Making a Difference. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Health Publication No. 95-3651; 1995.

Patrick K. et al. (eds) Bright futures in practice: physical activity /, Arlington, VA : National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, 2001.

Sullivan JA, Anderson SJ, eds. Care of the Young Athlete. Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons/American Academy of Pediatrics; 2000.

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