Special Olympics New Jersey believes that for every student, the path to sports and social inclusion begins with a meaningful and rewarding inclusive physical education experience.

We support Health and Physical Education through two initiatives: Unified PE as a general or elective course and Inclusive PE through our Learn. Practice. Play. UNIFIED. resources.

Unified Physical Education

This is not your typical physical education course! Unified Physical Education is a unique opportunity for students of varying ability levels and backgrounds to come together on equal terms through ongoing fitness, sports, leadership and wellness activities.

This course focuses on the physical, intellectual and social growth of all participants. Engaging in physical activity and sport alongside peers with and without disabilities fosters important social relationships.

The Unified PE course is structured around the national physical education standards and grade-level outcomes. Additionally, the class supports the development of leadership skills for all students as well as the empowerment of all students to foster an inclusive class and school-wide environment. Students in Unified PE courses may have the opportunity to participate in competitions with other schools or attend Special Olympics events.

Explore the Special Olympics Unified Physical Education Resources Guide for ideas and activities to support a Unified physical education program in your school.

Inclusive Physical Education

Inclusive physical education is not just being together in the same space, it means students with disabilities learn the same curriculum content, with the same objectives, and participate in the same assessments as all other students.

Through its Learn. Practice. Play. UNIFIED. resources and professional development trainings, Special Olympics New Jersey supports educators in creating high quality, meaningful inclusive PE programs where all students have access to fun, positive and successful learning experiences.

Learn. Practice. Play. UNIFIED.

Learn. Practice. Play. UNIFIED. resources are designed to provide inclusive and adaptive teaching strategies for making early childhood fundamental motor movement, physical education and sports programs accessible to children of all abilities from PreK through high school.

Each book contains three sections:

  • Learn: Special education information, instructional strategies and best practices for inclusion and instruction for teaching inclusive physical education
  • Practice: Activities and drills with tips for modifications and adaptations, as well as tools for observing student’s ability levels
  • Play UNIFIED: Suggestions for creating co-curricular, interscholastic and community-based opportunities for students to apply skills learned in physical education to participation in recreational and competitive game play activities

The Learn. Practice. Play. UNIFIED. Guide to Inclusive Physical Education and Sports Activities is a great resource for educators in inclusive health and physical education settings and for new Unified sports coaches.

The Learn. Practice. Play. UNIFIED. Guide to Inclusive Gross Motor Education focuses on gross motor skill development through structured and unstructured play strategies for preschool and kindergarten students.

These flexible resources weave the sport and education programs Special Olympics offers into one comprehensive framework. They focus on fundamental and sport-specific skill development and apply those skills to game play in school and the community.

Resources and Training

Contact Susan Colacello at scc@sonj.org to order copies of the Learn. Practice. Play. UNIFIED. guides or make requests for professional development trainings. All resources are provided free of charge!