Strategies for Inclusion | Ophea Teaching Tools

    Strategies for Inclusion

    Accommodations are supports that the child needs to successfully demonstrate learning. In schools, accommodations should not change expectations of the curriculum grade levels.

    Modifications refer to a change of expectations to meet the needs of the child. In schools, modifications of the curriculum expectations should always be done in consultation with a Special Education teacher.

    In order for inclusion efforts to be successful, teachers and community leaders need to be aware of the type and severity of the disability, type of activity, modifications to equipment that can be made, and the need for staff and/or peer support.

    Strategies for Inclusion

    The following are specific strategies to think about when planning your lesson or activity. Strategies are ways in which you can teach or instruct to maximize learning for children with disabilities:

    • Emphasize social interaction (often the priority for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder) and assign “peer helpers” to act as guides and/or supports
    • Allow for extra time to complete tasks
    • Use positive reinforcement
    • Incorporate written and oral language strategies (lists of what is being done, or pictures for those who cannot read or have trouble with oral directions)
    • Use explicit and repeated instructions
    • Provide peer support – assign a peer helper to provide support during the activity
    • Place the child in a location where he/she can listen/hear and maximize understanding
    • Provide clear, defined examples of behaviour that is expected
    • Always be patient
    • Allow for flexibility in your plans
    • Break up tasks into smaller steps
    • Use demonstration at all times
    • Understand that waiting in line may be difficult for some children
    • Use consistent routines in your plan
    • Play games over and over
    • Provide ongoing prompts or visual cues
    • Use mixed ability groupings
    • Celebrate the process
    • Use a variety of equipment to modify program.


    Changing what is expected (either an outcome or an expectation) is modifying. Giving supports to help achieve what is expected is accommodating. The following are suggested modifications and/or accommodations in the physical activity setting.

    Equipment Modification and/or Accommodations:

    • Use lighter, larger, or slower moving equipment (e.g., discs, balloons, deflated balls, beanbags)
    • Shorten sticks (for hockey)
    • Lower goals (for basketball)
    • Using a tethered ball (attached to wrist) for a visually impaired child or a child in a wheelchair
    • Move target closer to the child who is visually impaired or in a wheelchair
    • Use brightly coloured balls or balls that make sound
    • Use scooter boards
    • Use larger sized racquets for easier hand-eye coordination
    • Use stationary rope (not moving) to jump over
    • Lower nets or do not use nets
    • Use a lighter striking implement (i.e., bat) in baseball
    • Move the start/finish lines closer
    • Use hula hoops as nets
    • Use a ramp to assist with throwing and/or kicking a ball.

    Skill Level Modification and/or Accommodations:

    • “Wheeling” can be substituted for running
    • If dribbling a ball, allow children in wheelchairs to place ball in lap
    • Allow the child to use a noodle to tag people
    • Simplify tasks (drop and catch ball vs. bouncing it consecutively)
    • Use lead-up activities to prepare the child.

    Rule Modification/Accommodations:

    • Allow extra “tags” so the child is not “out” right away
    • Allow child to use hands (in soccer)
    • In kicking games (e.g., soccer baseball) allow child to throw instead of kick
    • Play soccer baseball instead of regular baseball
    • Add an extra goalkeeper to assist the child
    • Decrease distance
    • Increase points scored for the shot/goal
    • Give points for passing and giving appreciations
    • Reduce the size of playing area
    • Adjust throwing and/or kicking distances
    • Modify boundaries
    • Decrease/increase the number of students in the activity
    • Permit additional strikes, throws, or kicks
    • Passes may be bounce passes, not chest passes.


    • Train “peer helpers” to assist with throwing and catching or being designated runners
    • Establish a designated laneway/area for the student to travel within
    • Provide pinnies for students to wear for easy identification.