The South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind located in Spartanburg is the only school in South Carolina that specializes in the education of deaf and blind young people.
Every child in South Carolina is required to take a physical education class. The state's physical education requirements state each student must be challenged in psycho motor, cognitive, and affective skills. In a specialized school like the SCSDB PE has been adapted to their student's needs.
Coach Sanford Keyes took on the role of PE teacher for the school ten years ago. He has been a coach for 30 years, but never taught a group of students with disabilities. Keyes has created ways to make the class enjoyable for his students.
"We have to adapt our games to fill their needs," Keyes said.
Keyes uses equipment with noise detectors, so students can find him in the gym and he uses mostly plastic items. His personal favorite adaptation is his version of bowling. Keyes lays out bowling pins and uses a bowling ball with different sound settings that makes a distinct noise as it rolls across the floor.
Perrin Whelchel is in his second year at the SCDB who says PE class is the best class he takes.
"Because you don't have to do any work, really," Whelchel said.
A typical class day for Keyes starts with children as young as five, and ends with students in the fifth grade. He also teaches a driver's education course and a health class, but he said teaching PE to blind students is the best part of his day.
"We have kids that are visually impaired who can see a little bit, and then I have totally blind kids that can't see anything at all," Keyes said.
He never saw himself teaching a class to students with disabilities, but he has had the best time meeting their needs.