Physical Disabilities Teacher Resources

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Students define the terms disability and physical disability, and discuss the various abilities of people who use wheelchairs. They listen to the book, A Very Special Critter, interview a person with a physical disability, and create a class book.
Students role play what it would be like to have a physical disability. In this lesson on acceptance, students listen to the book A Rainbow of Friends by P.K. Hallinan. As a class, the students discuss similarities and differences in people's appearances and abilities. Students take turn role playing what it would be like to live with a physical disability.
At one time or another, people with physical disabilities may require the assistance of others in the community. Here, they engage in one-on-one role-playing sessions to practice recruiting assistance in the community. They practice asking for help so they will have this valuable skill when they need it in a real-life situation. Note: This is a very important skill to address.
Students explore issues concerning physical disabilities in an entertaining format of a puppet show. They interact and participate when asked to during the show, discuss what they learned from the puppet show.
Fourth graders explore the human body by analyzing fictional characters. For this physical disability lesson, 4th graders define a list of physical vocabulary terms used in the story The Trumpet of the Swan. Students read the story with their classmates and complete a reading response sheet for each chapter of the book.
Did you ever play capture the flag? I did, and it was so much fun! Your learners with special needs, physical handicaps, or visual impairments can play a classic and highly engaging game with a few minor adaptations. The best part is, while they play, they will be building directional mobility and orientation skills, as well as interacting socially and learning how to navigate an outdoor environment. 
To improve mobility, social skill development, and the concept of position, learners with physical disabilities work together to raise and lower a hula hoop over their heads. The activity is short and intended to be used as a warm-up.
When you have an inclusive classroom it is important to help your general education students understand their peers with disabilities. This packet provides information and activities to assist elementary-aged children in building a better grasp of what life is like for children with disabilities. Each activity and related worksheet focuses on one of several common disabilities seen in the educational community. Autism, learning disabilities, communication disorder, hearing impairment, visual impairment, and intellectual disabilities are all discussed.
Third graders complete several sports activities with simulated disabilities. They reflect on the inherent difficulties and brainstorm modifications for each activity.
Learners investigate cultural art from Canada by reading about Maud Lewis.  In this Canadian history activity, students identify the work of Lewis by visiting her magazine website.  Learners identify other heroes in Nova Scotia before creating their own art pieces in the style of Maud Lewis.
Students create their own poems to express a deep feeling or transformative experience, then write imaginary letters to people in the article, responding to their poetry and sharing their own creative process.
Students meet an artist who overcame learning and physical disabilities and became a successful artist. They use a digital camera to imitate the style of one artist; and explore the connection between the use of technology and art.
Young scholars learn about the a dance company with disabled dancers as well as the field of integrated dance. In this integrated dance instructional activity, students read passages about the AXIS Dance Company, an integrated dance company of able and disabled dancers. Young scholars complete research about the history of integrated dance and theatre, give a presentation of their research, and complete exercises using the approach of integrated dance.
Students examine and discuss common myths and misconceptions about persons with disabilities and with a partner plan an outing for a community activity. They read and complete the handout "Developmental Disabilities: Truth or Myth?" and discuss the answers as a class.
Eighth graders without a disability are encouraged to gain a new perspective about what it is like to have a physical disability. They experience various examples (blindfolding, soundproof ear protection, wheelchair, etc.) to begin to accept and better understand those individuals who do have disabilities.
Students look at pictures from the book "A Rainbow of Friends." They discuss reasons for the title of the book. Students take turns using a wheel chair to play a ball game. They discuss how being in the chair made them feel about the game. Students play a game where some of them are blindfolded and discuss blindness.
In this language arts learning exercise, students practice oral language skills. Students work in pairs and agree or disagree with 16 controversial issues. There is a word bank of phrases to use for the degree of agreement or disagreement. Note: Most of these issues are adult oriented.
Middle schoolers consider dog breeds that are helpful to humans and their hereditary link to wolves. In this biology instructional activity, student research a dog breed for traits that make it useful to humans.  Students write a report of how these traits could be selected in the dog breed. 
High schoolers in Advanced Keyboarding Applications class practice using Voice Recognition software to compose and "voice" four written assignments. They explain why this technology is useful to those with physical disabilities or those having difficulty using a keyboard.
Golf is a popular game that is enjoyed around the world. Invite your pupils with visual impairments or blindness to putt a few balls or make a hole in one. This lesson provides several very good suggestions as to how you can teach an adaptive version of golf to learners with special needs. The ultimate goal of the lesson is to engage learners on a real golf course. How cool is that?

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Physical Disabilities