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Activity and strategy

Choice Cards for Adaptive PE

Choice cards for adaptive PE allow students with multiple disabilities to make choices and control their environment.

I created a series of choice cards for a student’s adaptive PE time in the weight room. This particular student has low vision, is nonverbal, multiply impaired and has a heart condition.  The choice cards have increased her independence in the weight room, and allowed her to engage in each activity for longer periods of time. 

card with a photo of an electric wheelchair on it
A choice card with a picture of her wheelchair
a card with a picture of exercise equipment
A choice card with a picture of exercise equipment
card with a picture of a handweight
A choice card with a picture of a handweight


The student loves the weight room and her father was a professional athlete. Giving the student choices prolongs her ability to do the activities in the weight room. Her oxygen picture (which is not included here) is always located in the bottom right of the choice card. On the back of the card is a pocket to store the choice pictures. The bench picture is where she likes to sit to throw a ball and catch it.

plastic slots for the cards
Plastic slots to store the cards
cards with photographs of different physical education activities displayed on a board
The choice cards are arranged in a sequence

Giving her the options to choose her activity order in the weight room has prolonged her interest. Before the card was made, she would become frustrated and noncompliant. Once the choice cards were made, she completed her reps of 10 at each station with a smile.

Giving this student control over her learning in this environment has been empowering to her. Her need for oxygen has also decreased, as her frustration has been reduced and there are no noncompliant behaviors.  

Collage of choice cards for adaptive PE for students with multiple disabilities
Student accessing the window art activity.

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tick-tack-toe game made of felt.
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