Active Life Center: A Turkish Model for Teaching Students With Disabilities


  • Dilara Özer
  • Michelle Grenier
  • Sibel Nalbant
  • Gülsüm Hatipoğlu Özcan


special education, rehabilitation centers, Active Life Center, Turkey


In Turkey, there are many kinds of educational environments for children with disabilities. Some of these are inclusive; others are special education classes within the mainstream schools. A third category includes separate, special education schools. There are also Special Education and Rehabilitation Centers  (SERC) that provide support to all children including those with severe disabilities. While there are mandatory employees such as physical therapists, child development specialists, psychologists and special education teachers, there are no physical education or adapted physical education teachers included as part of the special education teams in the rehabilitation centers.  As a result, children placed in the centers receive little attention in the area of physical education. This article describes the experiences of children and their families involved with the “Active Life Center” in Istanbul, Turkey as well as the programs and research initiatives associated with the center. Founded in 2012, the center is designed to support the rights of children with disabilities to participate in sport and physical activity through a variety of programs.



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