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Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins June 25.  Watch your email for more details.

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Inclusive Physical Activity

Course Code: SPSC 3158
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Sport Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

In this course students will examine historical and contemporary theories and models for inclusive physical activity and consider the implications for practice. They will learn to assess, plan, and implement a physical activity program designed to meet the individual interests, abilities, and needs of all participants. Through this process, students will learn to assess and respond to context-related, person-related, and task-related factors of activity and to modify their teaching and coaching practice effectively to promote inclusive physical activities. Students will explore collaborative perspectives to employ successful strategies and practice in order to include all individuals in meaningful physical activity experiences throughout their lifetime.

Course Content

  1. Inclusive physical activity philosophy
    • Historical and contemporary perspectives regarding inclusion and physical activity
    • Theories and models of disability and ability
    • Beliefs of participants, programs, and practitioners
    • Rationale for inclusive approach
  2. Principles of inclusive physical activity
    • Self determination, humanism, and understanding of diversity
    • Uniqueness of individuals in physical, cognitive, emotional, and social capacities and needs
    • Experiential equity of participants; Rights of all to full participation
    • Terminology
    • Preservation of dignity
    • Personal choice
    • Participation in decision making for activity
    • Experiential benefit for all participants
    • Safety and Liability
    • Individualization
    • Autonomy
    • Emphasis on abilities
    • Evolving needs and interests
    • Modification aims:
      • Acceptance
      • Access
      • Accommodation
    • Community involvement
    • Legal factors and implications
  3. Barriers to physical activity
    • Context-related barriers
      • Attitudes
      • Labels and language
      • Perceived professional competency
      • Accessibility
      • Administrative support
    • Person-related barriers
      • Knowledge
      • Self-determination, self-efficacy, and motivation
      • Perceived risks
      • Entrenched patterns of inactivity
    • Task-related barriers
      • Equipment
      • Activity selection
  4. Strategies for meaningful inclusive physical activity
    • Challenging and overcoming barriers
    • Dignity of individual
    • Desires, interests, experiences, and choices of individual
    • Social, emotional, physical, cognitive, medical, and behaviour considerations in inclusion
  5. Consultation in planning and implementation of inclusive physical activity
    • Effective communication
    • Team members
    • Models of consultation
      • Mental health consultation model
      • Behaviour consultation model
      • Process consultation model
      • Collaborative consultation model
    • Collaborative processes and issues
    • Collaborative decision making processes
  6. Assessment of program and individual
    • Purpose of assessment
    • What to assess
    • Methods of assessment
    • Assessment consideration
    • Application of assessment data
    • Review and re-assessment
  7. Developmental considerations
    • Review of theories and practices associated with human development
    • Application of concepts of development for physical activity participation
  8. Motor development considerations
    • Review of concepts related to human development
    • Influence of motor delays of development processes
    • Application of principles related to motor development in program planning and implementation
    • Participant-related issues associated with motor skill behaviour and development
  9. Unique attributes of individuals
    • Intellectual disabilities
    • Behavioural disabilities
    • Developmental disorders
    • Learning disabilities
    • Visual impairments
    • Deafness and deaf-blindness
    • Traumatic brain injury & stroke
    • Amputations
    • Spinal cord disabilities
    • Other health impairments (e.g., diabetes, obesity, cancer, cardiovascular impairments)
    • Ageing-associated issues (e.g., osteoporosis)
  10. A functional approach for modifying movement experiences
    • Analysis and assessment of task requirements
      • Motor components
      • Developmental requirements
      • Physiological requirements
      • Social aspects
      • Emotional components
    • Analysis and assessment of current capabilities of individual
    • Modification for alignment of task, environmental, and participant capabilities
    • Evaluating modification effectiveness
    • Application of theory and concepts in practice
  11. Preparing and planning for inclusive physical activity
    • Curriculum theory and implementation
    • Curriculum and instructional planning
    • Preparing for curriculum implementation
    • Pedagogical considerations
    • Roles and collaborative practices
  12. Teaching and coaching for inclusive physical activity
  13. Play, games, and sport for all individuals
  14. Health-related fitness and conditioning
    • Physical fitness and health association
    • Components of physical fitness and exercise programs
    • Modifications to principles of fitness conditioning
    • Exercise prescription for individuals with differing abilities
  15. Specific sport-related programs for individuals with differing abilities

Methods of Instruction

  • Case study (individual and group work)
  • Lecture
  • Discussion groups (small and large)
  • Practical application
  • Field observation and/or video observation
  • Self-study via print or online materials
  • Reading assignments
  • Online discussion groups
  • Experiential learning

Means of Assessment

The following is presented as an example assessment format for this course:

Weekly journal writing 10%
Interview for awareness 10%
Mid-term and final exams 40%
Individual difference brief and Peer teaching 20%
Case analysis and action plan 20%

Learning Outcomes

  1. Examine the development of issues surrounding the construct of ‘disability’ along with current concepts and trends in inclusive physical activity and sport
  2. Analyze inclusive physical activity issues of access, accommodation, and transformation associated with person-related, task-related, and context-related factors that may limit inclusive physical activity.
  3. Assess the physical activity abilities, interests, and needs of participants with differing abilities.
  4. Prepare, plan, and implement a physical activity program that includes all individuals with differing abilities.
  5. Adapt and modify pedagogical practices to maximize participation and benefit of all individuals.
  6. Apply inclusive principles in physical activity settings.
  7. Demonstrate awareness and a positive attitude towards participants with differing abilities.
  8. Identify sport and physical activity opportunities that responds to the dynamic capabilities and interests of all individuals.

course prerequisites

60 credits, including SPSC 1103 and SPSC 1195 and SPSC 1164

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.