- Whenever possible, put yourself at eye level to facilitate conversation by sitting in a chair or crouching down.
- Do not speak loudly and/or slowly to an individual using a wheelchair unless you know that doing so is necessary to communicate.
- Always ask permission before pushing somebody’s wheelchair.
- Make conversation with students when you push their wheelchairs, just as you would if you were walking with a student who does not use a wheelchair.
- Always let your students try-never assume they can’t do something.
- Work with students to adapt to their abilities (ie: Players may hold the ball in their lap for periods of movement).
- Create new rules if you recognize a limitation (ie: if a child cannot bounce a ball, allow them to instead have to touch their wheels before having to pass the ball).
- Limit amount of quick wheelchair movements to prevent exhaustion and blisters.
- Practice sports indoors or on dirt ground for easier maneuvering (avoid grass).
- Utilize the STEPS principle (Space, Task, Equipment, People, and Safety), to ensure that you are thinking through all the different ways of how to adapt lessons to integrate children with disabilities.
TIPS FOR INCLUSION
- If possible, offer a volunteer buddy to push a student’s chair when needed
- Discuss with the group what modifications are going to be made to the game
- Offer pitched ball, rolled ball, or a t-ball.
- Offer two different bases (one closer, one further).
- Ask the student for their thoughts on how they would like to modify an activity
- Check in with the student after practice to see what went well and what we can try next time