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Adaptive Instruction for Teacher Education: Inclusive Approaches, Resources and Technology
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Physical Exceptionality:

Physical Disability


The Ministry Defininition... a condition of such severe physical limitation or deficiency as to require special assistance in learning situations to provide opportunity for educational achievement equivalent to that of pupils without exceptionalities who are of the same age or development level.

This exceptionality includes children with a wide range of conditions, which affects nervous and /or muscular system such as Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Spina Bifida, and Spinal chord injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Tourettes.  May affect small muscle control only - muscle of hand, (They often say their hands hurt.) and muscles used for speech. (Apraxia, which may look like stuttering).


1. Many students have average or higher intellectual potential but are just limited by muscle or neuro muscular control difficulties.

2. There is special funding from the Ministry of Education for special equipment needs.
What kind of technology would assist these students?

3. How do Physical-Neuro Muscular Disabilities affect school work?  It can affect:

  • The student's ability with mobility and movement especially if there is some paralysis.
  • Production of written work.    
  • Appearance of written work.
  • Speech production – articulation.
  • Student may be clumsy and socially inept.         
  • Young children have difficulty colouring inside of a line, or cutting with scissors.
  • They may fall off climbing equipment when they suddenly lose muscle control.
  • May be exacerbated with difficulties with motor memory, or eye to hand co-ordination. (Copying notes from a board)

To Do

Taking the factors into account:

What other aspects of the regular classroom instruction or environment can present difficulties to a student with a Physical Exceptionality?

How can you differentiate instruction for a student who has these kinds of difficulties?

What types of adaptive technology can be used to assist this student?

How else will a neuro-muscular  impairment affect student learning in the regular class?

What are some of the things you can do so that these students can be successful in class?

Also refer to the section Finding Common Ground in the Assignments section of this website, as it is pertinent and includes students who have a physical exceptionality, as well as other students who have fine motor control difficulties in doing written work.