Health and Physical Education (B.S.)

Adapted Physical Education Program

The Adapted Physical Education (APE) program at URI allows students to learn from children and adolescents who may have impairments or disabilities. The program also gives individuals in the community a chance to participate in beneficial programming at no cost. URI students gain hands-on knowledge through serving as a child’s teacher throughout the program. This entails setting realistic goals for the child, providing positive and constructive feedback, and working collaboratively with the parents to provide optimal learning.

The URI students involved in all programming are those striving to become future educators, therapists, physician’s assistants and trainers. The experience gained working with this population is very valuable and adaptable to their future careers.

Summer Adapted Aquatics/Surfing Research Program (KIN 585)

A free land-based, adapted aquatics and adapted surfing program offered to children with autism, other disabilities and their siblings from the community. The program coordinator studies and measures the benefits of adapted surfing and compares the results to the benefits of adapted aquatics. Kinesiology students are taught how to work successfully with children with autism and other disabilities. Valuable learning experiences are provided to all participants in both of the programs. Inclusion is promoted by pairing students and children together, pairing children with autism and without disabilities together with their teachers and also by creating a supportive learning environment. Individual Education Plans (IEP) goals are also developed for each child to achieve personal success. For more information about specific research please view our publications

Spring Adapted Aquatics (KIN 410)

The course includes planning, administering, and teaching adapted aquatics. The application of kinesiological concepts, characteristics, and methods of teaching aquatics to people with disabilities is the basis for this class.

Fall Adapted Sports Activities (KIN 410)

This course includes planning, administering and teaching adapted physical education sport activities to children with disabilities. Students are paired with individual children and together they participate in a variety of traditional and non-traditional sport activities. Students also have an opportunity to complete an IEP based upon the TGMD-2 test administered in the beginning of the semester.

Why support the programs?

Positive Outcomes from HPE Research:

All participants in the surf program were first assessed with the Brockport Physical Fitness Test. In addition, grip strength and percent of body fat were measured and recorded both before and after the program was administered. Physical activity data was also collected prior to, during, and after the program. This data was taken prior to the administration of the program and at the conclusion of the program. Parents and caregivers also completed a program evaluation at the end of the program. After analyzing the program evaluations, many positive outcomes were reported. Researchers, surf instructors and parents observed increased self-confidence, gains in social development by interacting with the volunteer surf instructors and other participants, and decreased anxiety. Additional improvements included increased verbalization, excitement and motivation about physical activity, and improvements in surfing skills. Several outcomes of the program were reported to also be carried over into other aspects of the participants’ lives including increased participation and improved performance in other adapted physical education activities and Special Olympics Programming.

Funding for Programs:

  • All of the Adapted Community Programs cost $19,456 to run each year. This includes staff time to administer the program, required lifeguard supervision at the beach for the surfing program, surfboard and wetsuit rentals, rental fees for the URI Tootell Aquatics and Gymnasium Center, as well as the URI Foundation one-time gift fee set at 5%.
  • Approximately $20,000 of funding is required each year to run these amazing programs during their proposed time frames. Donations are always accepted and deeply appreciated! If you are interested in donating, please contact the HPE Director directly, Dr. Emily Clapham at

How to get your child involved with these programs?

Please download and return this application form to Dr. Emily Clapham, the HPE Director at A response with more information will be provided shortly!