Adaptive Physical Education/Specially Designed Physical Education

Adapted Physical Education/Specially Designed Physical Education (APE/SDPE) is physical education which has been adapted or modified, so that it is as appropriate for the person with a disability as it is for a person without a disability.

Federal law mandates that physical education be provided to students with disabilities and defines Physical Education as the development of physical and motor skills; fundamental motor skills and patterns (throwing, catching, walking, running, etc); skills in aquatics, dance, and individual and group games and sports (including intramural and lifetime sports). 

The APE teacher is a direct service provider, not a related service provider, because physical education for children with disabilities is a federally mandated component of special education services [U.S.C.A. 1402 (25)]. This means that physical education needs to be provided to the student with a disability as part of the special education services that child receives.