PE Abilities Tennis (PEAT) supports the inclusion of adaptive tennis in school PE classes for students with intellectual disabilities and meets academic needs while introducing these students to a lifetime sport. Abilities Tennis Association started a pilot program in 2012 in the Wake County Public School System and we are pleased at the immediate impact this program is showing to our students. ATANC works closely with the individual school’s PE teachers, Special Needs teacher, tennis coaches and administration to bring PEAT into their school system. We provide the equipment, training for teachers and student assistants, and continual support throughout the life of the program.
While all schools were considered for the pilot, special attention was given to high schools with PE Pupil Instructor (PEPI) classes. PEPI classes take sports programming programs to elementary schools and conduct programs within their own school. In schools without PEPI classes,we piloted a program where the varsity tennis teams volunteer and assist students with intellectual disabilities, who we all view as their student peers, to learn the sport they all love through Unified Doubles play and drill clinics. These relationships that have greatly enhanced social integration of the special needs students into the school community.
We have had such overwhelming success and interest in this program that we are now expanding to other school districts throughout the state of NC.