For more than a decade, Woodard has educated students on the importance of adapted physical education, also known as adaptive physical activity.
“These two terms refer to the ability to adapt and individualize physical activities to meet the needs of those with disabilities,” Woodard said.
“This can include an individual with autism, someone who may be in a wheelchair or any other disabilities.”
The goal of adapting these activities is to allow these individuals to be successful in their own way.
Real world experiences
MSU students majoring in physical education and exercise and movement science are enrolled in Woodard’s adapted physical education course to gain hands-on experience.
They attend lectures three days a week and then work with adapted PE teachers in the Springfield Public Schools district.
On Fridays, these students provide physical activity programs for students at Rivendale Institute of Learning and Center for Autism.
Every week, Woodard invites individuals from Arc of the Ozarks to come to campus and participate with students in some physical activity.
“It’s important for these students to get this hands-on experience before graduating because in their future professions, they may work with individuals with disabilities,” Woodard said.
“I love seeing the relationships that form between students and the individuals who participate in these programs.”