skip to content

The following terms are presented here to help build a bridge of understanding between parents, school personnel, and individuals with disabilities:

With thanks to Frank Bernard, Jr., 'Funny as a Crutch'

Adapted Physical Education

Adapted physical education is the art and science of developing and implementing a carefully designed physical education instructional program for an individual with a disability, based on a comprehensive assessment, to give the individual the skills necessary for a lifetime of rich leisure, recreation, and sport experiences (Auxter, Pyfer, & Huettig, in press).

Adapted Physical Education Specialist

The adapted physical education specialist (APE) is the person responsible for developing an appropriate physical education plan for individuals with disabilities. The APE specialist is a physical educator training in the assessment and evaluation of motor competency, physical fitness, play, and leisure, recreation and sport skills. The APE teacher has the skills necessary to develop an individualized physical education program and to implement the program.

Certified Adapted Physical Educator (CAPE)

The CAPE is an educator who has passed the Adapted Physical Education National Standards APENS examination and has earned the right to be certified in the United States of America. 

Affective Domain

The affective domain refers to an individual's social-emotional and psychological dimension.

Cognitive Domain

This refers to an individual's intellectual capability.

Motor Domain

The motor domain refers to an individual's gross (large muscle) and fine (small muscle) motor skills. This includes perceptual-motor and sensory-motor function -- the ability of the individual to receive and process sensory information and use that information to make a motor response.


Assessment is "a problem-solving process that involves a variety of ways of gathering information." (Auxter, Pyfer & Huettig, 1997)  A motor assessment may gather information regarding gross and fine motor skills, sensory integration, sensory-motor skills, play behavior, leisure/recreation/sport skills, and physical fitness.


A term which broadly refers to the varying and complex nature of contemporary society which includes individuals representing different cultures, ethnic backgrounds, linguistic preferences, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual preference, age, disability and ability.

Individual Education Program (IEP)

The IEP is a process in which parents, educators, and the student work together to ensure that the student is able to achieve his or her designated goals. (Auxter, Pyfer, Huettig, 1997)

Modifications and Accommodations

These are strategies that can be used to make it possible for an individual with a disability to participate in an activity of choice. In school-based programs, they may include modifications in curriculum, teaching strategy, use of support personnel, equipment, behavior management strategies, and changes in grading techniques. In leisure and recreation facilities it may include provision of wheelchair ramps into a weight room, a transfer chair to access a pool, or a bowling ramp.


page last updated 1/3/2017 1:00 PM