Strategies for Adapted Physical Education Teachers in Connecting BRIDGES with Parents of Children with Disabilities


  • Adam S. Forbes University of Virginia
  • Martin E. Block University of Virginia



Families are an important part of the educational success of children. They can provide children with the opportunities to participate in lifetime physical activities outside of the school setting. When families feel valued and welcomed, their engagement and satisfaction with teachers can become enhanced thereby developing positive outcomes for children. However, specific to adapted physical education, not all families perceive positive experiences with their involvement in APE such as difficulties in understanding APE services, approaching APE teachers, and how to support their children’s physical activity needs. It is important for APE teachers to communicate with families and develop a collaborative relationship to demonstrate the benefits of physical activity and support families’ efforts in recreational opportunities outside of school. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to provide APE teachers with strategies they can use to develop a partnership with families of children whom they support through the BRIDGES model. Explanations of each step within the framework are provided as well as examples APE teachers can use to start developing the home-school connection.