Paralympics - a great opportunity to have a conversation about disability and social inclusion

“I think most people aren’t aware that their communities aren’t even accessible to the 15 per cent of the community that have a disability.”

Ellie Cole, Australian Paralympian swimmer

As teachers we have the opportunity to use Paralympics as a stimulus to authentically engage our students in their learning and ask them to think critically about current attitudes and beliefs about people with a disability. We can provide them with opportunities to collaborate on how they can be part of the solution to change attitudes towards disability and think creatively about how we can increase accessibility for everyone.  The Australian Paralympic Committee has put together a diverse range of resources for both Primary and Secondarystudents that can be adapted to meet the outcomes for the NSW K – 10 curriculum. We have included links to these resources below.

Year 9 and 10 PDHPE and PASS - Rising Phoenix documentary and teacher guide

Rising Phoenix (2020), directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, is a Netflix original documentary that tells the story of how the Paralympic Games have become the third biggest sporting competition in the world. This feature-length documentary follows nine elite athletes as they reflect on how the Paralympic Games have impacted a global understanding of disability, diversity, and excellence.

Teacher note: The documentary is rated M for moderate course language. Preview before showing students
The accompanying teachers guide can be downloaded from the Paralympics Australia website


“I’mPOSSIBLE is an education program developed by the Agitos Foundation, the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) development arm, to spread the Paralympic values and the vision of the Paralympic Movement to young people throughout the world. Through education of inclusion and the Paralympic values, I’mPOSSIBLE aims to challenge and change the perceptions of how young people perceive people with an impairment, thus bringing about a more inclusive society.” Source: International Paralympic Committee

The I’mPOSSIBLE resources include the following lesson plans along with worksheets and PowerPoint presentations:

  • The Paralympic Games: what are they?
  • The Paralympic Values
  • Para-sports: what are they and how are they played?
  • Let’s play the Para-sport of Sitting Volleyball
  • Let’s play the Para-sport of Goalball
  • Let’s play the Para-sport of Boccia
  • Let’s experience Para-athletics

Primary PDHPE learning ideas

Our Paralympians love hearing from their fans. Your words of encouragement inspire them to give their best performance and they love to answer your questions about their sport, life as an athlete and about the Paralympics in general.

Find out more and download a getting started guide from Paralympics Australia website.

Australian Paralympic History WebQuest

Through this inquiry based WebQuest, students learn about the history of the Paralympic Movement in Australia and the importance of preserving history.

Curriculum links to Year 5 and Year 6 Humanities and Social Sciences (History) and English.


Download PDF 

Our Aussie Paralympic Heroes

Inspire students by having them learn about the qualities that make a Paralympian and the outstanding achievements of our Australian Paralympic Team.

Curriculum links to Foundation to Year 6 English

DOWNLOAD PDF (Foundation to Year 2)

DOWNLOAD PDF (Year 3 to Year 6)

Participating in Paralympic Sports

Students investigate how sports can be adapted to suit a range of abilities and participate in a variety of practical activities designed to emulate Paralympic sports.

Curriculum links to Year 1 to Year 6 Health
and Physical Education.


Paralympic Cities – Tokyo 2020

Students learn more about Tokyo, Japan and explore other cities that have previously hosted a Paralympic Summer or Winter Games.

Curriculum links to Year 3 to Year 6 Humanities and Social Sciences (Geography) and English.


Look out next week for Part 2 of our Paralympic blog series that will provide ideas for starting conversations about diversity, disability and social inclusion, and the role we can all play in creating a more inclusive society.

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