physical - (adj) 1) of or relating to the body; 2) concerned with the human body and its needs
ability - (n) 1) the quality or state of being able; 2) natural aptitude or proficiency
Educators are expected to support students who may exhibit a range of physical abilities. In fact, significant legislation, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that schools plan to meet the needs of all students regardless of ability or disability. Accommodation in facilities and programming must provide equitable access to educational experiences.
The school physical plant, for instance, needs to accommodate wheel chairs and other mobility devices. In addition, schools are expected to work with families to provide technological support for students who have sensory challenges such as impaired vision or hearing. Students who are physically challenged need significant emotional support as they navigate the rough terrain of learning in a traditional setting. Educators must make the important adjustments necessary to provide a physically and emotionally safe nurturing learning environment.
Essex, N., J. Schifani. & S. Bowman. (March 1994). Handle with care: Your schools' tough new challenge--educating medically fragile children. American School Board Journal. Vol 38.
Grant, C. A. & Sleeter, C. (2003). Turning on learning: Five approaches for multicultural teaching plans for race, class, gender, and disability. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.