Celebrating Abilities in Physical Education (CAPE)


Program Overview

Celebrating Abilities in Physical Education (CAPE) is a university-based community service program that offers individualized instruction to children with unique needs. There are three groups in CAPE, including MEET for pre-school age children, LEARN for elementary students, and GROW for secondary students. Program emphasis is placed on health promotion through development in the following areas: gross motor development, health related physical fitness, lifetime sports, play-social skills, aquatics, and dance-creative movement.


The CAPE program provides services to school-age children who can benefit from specially designed instruction. Included are those with developmental, sensory, neurologic, intellectual, orthopedic, or other disabilities. The number of children enrolled in the program is dependent upon the availability of NIIU students.


Upon acceptance into the program, each participant is assessed in the areas of gross motor development, health-related physical fitness, and aquatic skills. An individualized adapted physical education program, composed of long-term goals and specific short-term instructional objectives, is developed after the initial assessment. Parents, teachers, and others who are involved with the education and training of the participants are encouraged to assist with development of the program. This specially designed program is then implemented by student teachers (from physical education, special education, or health education) under the direct supervision of CAPE staff members. Individualized program content may include:

  • Gross motor development: Walking, running, skipping, throwing, catching, kicking, striking, etc.
  • Perceptual-motor development: Balance, spatial awareness, body and directional awareness
  • Health-related physical fitness: Muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, cardiovascular function, and body composition
  • Lifetime sport skills: Various individual and team games and sports
  • Dance-creative movement: Age-appropriate social dance and rhythmic movement
  • Aquatics: Adjustment to water, stroke development, diving, and use of aquatic equipment


CAPE program is conducted for two nine-week sessions during the NIU academic year. (There's a six-week summer program on Wednesdays from 2:30-4:30 p.m.) The first session is held during the fall semester and the second in the spring. All activities take place on Friday evenings from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in Anderson Hall (Physical Education building) on the NIU campus. Parents are responsible for transportation and consistency of attendance. A nominal fee is charged for participation in the clinic.


Referrals for CAPE services are accepted from a variety of sources including parents, teachers, neighbors, medical personnel, and community service-advocacy organizations. The clinic works closely with educational and community programs that provide services to children with special needs.

Need More Information?

Dr. So-Yeun Kim
Northern Illinois University
Anderson Hall 232
DeKalb, IL 60115-2854
(815) 753-7152

Contact Us

Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education 
Anderson Hall 221
DeKalb, IL 60115
P: 815-753-1407 
F: 815-753-1413 

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