What is APA?

Adapted physical activity has many meanings, but its central focus is individual differences in physical activity that require special attention. Adaptation means to modify, adjust, or accommodate in accordance with assessment data. Individual differences include impairments, disabilities, handicaps and other special needs as delineated by various governing bodies.

According to IFAPA, Adapted Physical Activity (APA) means:
  • A service-oriented profession
  • An academic specialization or field of study
  • A cross disciplinary body of knowledge
  • An emerging discipline or subdiscipline
  • A philosophy or set of beliefs that guides practices
  • An attitude of acceptance that predisposes behaviors
  • A dynamic system of interwoven theories and practices
  • A process and a product (i.e. , programs in whichadaptation occurs)
  • An advocacy network for disability rights

In many places the terms adapted physical activity and adapted physical education are used interchangeably. IFAPA believes, however, that ACTIVITY emphasizes lifespan needs in all kinds of activity settings. In contrast, education is often used to focus on school-aged individuals in instructional settings.

Adapted Physical Activity has some commonalities with the term used in some parts of the world Psychomotor therapy.

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