Fernan R. Santillan, Adventist University of the Philippines, email@example.com
Mary Joy V. Ballaran, Adventist University of the Philippines, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope B. Ariate, Adventist University of the Philippines, email@example.com
Elmie Lynn V. Lagajino, Adventist University of the Philippines, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction: Engaging in physical activities could be very challenging to people with disabilities. This study explored the challenges, advantages, and opportunities of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) or students with special needs involved in inclusive Physical Education (PE) classes.
Methods: This phenomenological study utilized PWDs enrolled in a University in Cavite, Philippines. Six PWDs who were enrolled in adaptive PE classes during the academic year 2018-2019, recommended by their teachers, and have physical disabilities that are not the same with any of the participants were chosen through purposive sampling. Data were gathered through interview questions validated by the experts. The interview was recorded, translated to English, and analyzedusing thematic analysis.
Results: Results revealed that the participants with feet deformity, amputated right arm, squint eye, right peripheral vision loss, Blount’s disease, and muscle dystrophin have difficulty performing the regular tasks in the PE classes. The alternative tasks like downloading steps in aerobics, researching a formation in marching, and being the scorer and referee, were not easy. They could not do the same activities together since they had different physical disabilities. Other concerns such as safety, self-esteem, and grades intensified the challenges. This difficult situation, however, gave them the advantage to gain self-confidence and determination to finish the tasks despite their limitations. It also gave them opportunities to discover their potentials and other skills that help them create materials for PWDs in PE, and enabled them to think of their friends, teachers, and families who encourage, support, and cheer for them to finish the given tasks. The participants took their situations positively and gratefully accepted God’s leading in their lives.
Discussion: There is a need for the PE department to continue offering classes that accept PWDs in PE 1-4 to enhance the students’ self-confidence. Teachers also need to develop a module with differentiated instruction and create activities and materials that help students with varied disabilities.
Keywords: PWD, disabilities, special needs, adaptive physical education, sports