This article was published on WDIO by Emily Ness on January 24, 2021.
The Univeristy of Minnesota Duluth added a new minor to their roster of classes this semester—aimed at making physical activity more accessible for all.
The minor is called the Developmental Adapted Physical Education minor—or DAPE—for short.
Courses are being taught by Dr. Daehyoung Lee, an Assistant Professor from Seoul, South Korea, who was inspired to help empower individuals with disabilities after spending time with his sister-in-law, who has a disability.
“She was born with a very severe disability, so from the beginning of her life, she was not able to speak or walk,” Lee said. “She needs support and care 24/7 from family and I was experiencing that and thought maybe I can help these people.”
According to Lee, the minor requires students take 29 credits worth of courses. In the courses, Lee said they will learn to teach fundamental motor skills and adaptive physical and recreational activities—all of which he believes require compassion and grace from students.
“You have to be caring, patient and kind,” Lee said.
Currently, UMD is the only campus in the University of Minnesota system to offer the DAPE minor. Lee believes the minor will be invaluable for physical education majors looking to make themselves more competitive in the job market.
“DAPE is a federally mandated Special Education Service, so public schools have to offer this program to students with special needs and just PE teachers may not be able to offer this service, but our DAPE licensed students can offer this service so that’s a huge difference,” Lee said.
So far, five students have taken on the new minor this semester and Lee hopes to see many more.
“So far, so good. Our students are very enthusiastic,” Lee said.
More information about the DAPE minor can be found here.